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Giving the rocket an added kick off the launch pad are solid-propellant boosters made by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Considered the world's longest monolithic -- or single-segment -- solid boosters, the motors provide the extra thrust needed to increase the Atlas 5's payload-carrying capacity.Each booster stands 67 feet tall, has a diameter of just over five feet and weighs 102,000 pounds at launch. The slender white rockets have a lightweight graphite epoxy casing with an erosion-resistant insulation. The solid fuel is high-performance class 1.3 HTPB propellant.Atop the booster is an aerodynamically-shaped graphite epoxy nose fairing. Each motor has forward and aft attachment structures to the Atlas 5's first stage. The motor nozzle is carbon-phenolic.The motor burns for 90 seconds, generating a maximum thrust of approximately 400,000 pounds and an average of 280,000 pounds.RUAG Space of Zurich, Switzerland produces the five-meter diameter nose cone that covers the satellite cargo during the first minutes of launch as the rocket accelerates through the atmosphere. The Atlas 5 shrouds are the largest lightweight composite payload fairings ever built. A layer of cork is applied to the outer surface of the fairing to shield against the heating of ascent. An electrically conductive white paint is then applied over the cork to avoid electrical charges. The inside has an acoustic protection system to lessen the intense sound during launch for the payload.To give the fairing structural support against lateral loads during the ascent, the "Centaur Forward Load Reactor" deck was designed. This aluminum ring extends from the Centaur to the fairing's inner wall. It separates in two halves moments after the fairing is jettisoned during launch.The Russian RD-180 first stage main engine can accomplish the entire job of steering the Atlas 5 during launch, thus the solid boosters feature simple, fixed nozzles.