24 July 2024 - Mission Day: 10463 - DOY: 206
SOHO's Launch

SOHO was launched by an Atlas II-AS (AC-121) from Cape Canaveral Air Station on December 2, 1995, at 08:08 UT.

Launch Images

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hi-res diagram of Atlas

Launch Movies


The launch vehicle for this mission was a two stage Atlas-IIAS (Atlas/Centaur). At liftoff, the vehicle is approximately 47.4m long, 4m in diameter and weights 236 268 kg. The Atlas, consists of a solid rocket booster stage powered by four Thiokol Castor IVA solid rocket boosters and a core vehicle stage (booster and sustainer) powered by Rocketdyne MA-5A liquid propellant engines (RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen). The multiple firing Centaur is powered by two Pratt and Whitney (RL10A-4) liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen engines with extendible nozzles. Vehicle guidance and range safety is mounted on the Centaur stage.

The Centaur rocket body is 3.04 m in diameter, 9 m long and weight 1814 kg empty. SOHO is 3.65 m in height and 3.65 m in width and weights 610 kg at separation from the Centaur rocket body. SOHO was placed into a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point, approximately 1.5 million km sunward from the Earth.


Launch vehicle height 47.40 m
Launch vehicle diameter 4.00 m
Launch vehicle weight 236 268 kg


First stage Atlas sustainer and 2 boosters and 4 Thiokol
Castor IVA solid rocket boosters
Second stage Centaur (2 LO2/LH2 engines)
SOHO spacecraft on-board hydrazine thrusters


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Last modification: July 27, 2020

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