Since its first flight on August 21, 2002, the Atlas V rocket has launched a total of 85 times and has achieved a 100% mission success rate. Back in 2006, this rocket set a new world record, for the fastest spacecraft at the time of more than 36,000 miles per hour.
Back in 2006, this rocket set a new world record during the launch of the New Horizons mission, for the fastest spacecraft at the time of leaving Earth’s atmosphere – more than 36,000 miles per hour. At this speed, it would only take 41 minutes and 44 seconds to go around the Earth’s Equator, which is 24,902 miles. The fifth major version in the Atlas rocket family, this NASA launch vehicle uses a standard common core booster, up to five solid rocket boosters and a Centaur upper stage - the world's highest-performing upper stage.