of the 1950s. Atlas II was the last Atlas to use a three engine, "stage-and-a-half" design. It was designed to launch payloads into low earth orbit, geosynchronous transfer orbit or geosynchronous orbit. Sixty-three launches of the Altas II, IIA and IIAS models were carried out between 1988 and 2004. (The larger Atlas III was used between 2000 and 2005, and the Atlas V is still in use.)Atlas II provided higher performance than the earlier Atlas I by using engines with greater thrust and longer fuel tanks for both stages.