Based off what I can find online, and in history books; only the first Atlas rocket could send crew into space, but there is potential for man rates Atlas v rockets (which man rating about that has been asked on here already). What about the other rockets in that family? Would it have been possible to send crew into orbit on one of those rockets given a crewed craft as its payload?

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    $\begingroup$ Whether officially qualified for manned flight or not, the family from Atlas II on has proven extremely reliable, with only one partial failure on Atlas V in 120 launches since 1991. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Dec 10 '14 at 5:19
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think that any Atlas craft have been man-rated. I believe that the Mercury flights were before any stringent man-rating system existed other than the "engineer it best you can" approach, and I would love to hear differently (thus a comment and not a post). The Altas V is a completely different vehicle from the earlier rockets which used the name. $\endgroup$ – dotancohen Dec 10 '14 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ I thought there was something like 80% of all launches of the Atlas 1 failed so nasa had to tweak it, or change some things from the original design to handle crew. I may be confusing that with the Titan missile. $\endgroup$ – CBredlow Dec 10 '14 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ The first couple of years of Atlas launches were about 50% successful. Atlas II represents 30 years of improvement over the original Atlas. It's a very different beast. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Mar 27 '15 at 20:40

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