United Launch Alliance (ULA), the LDCM launch vehicle provider with vehicle assembly facilities in Decatur, Alabama, flew the first stage of the LDCM Atlas V 401 launch vehicle from Alabama to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on August 27, 2012 aboard an Antonov AN-124 aircraft. The Atlas V lower stage is the first major LDCM subsystem shipped to the launch site.

Atlas V booster

An Atlas V booster (Stage 1) being loaded onto an Antonov aircraft (note this was for a previous mission; it is not LDCM’s Atlas V booster). Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance.