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Atlas C
Part of Atlas Family
Atlas C
Atlas C
Credit: US Air Force
American test vehicle. Last development version of Atlas. Never deployed operationally or used for space launches.

AKA: CGM-16C;Mk. 2/3;SM-65C. Status: Retired 1959. First Launch: 1958-12-24. Last Launch: 1959-08-24. Number: 6 . Payload: 70 kg (154 lb). Thrust: 1,587.20 kN (356,817 lbf). Gross mass: 110,740 kg (244,130 lb). Height: 25.15 m (82.51 ft). Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.88 m (16.01 ft). Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

LEO Payload: 70 kg (154 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 32.00 degrees. Maximum range: 8,000 km (4,900 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Standard RV: Mk. 2/3. Standard warhead: W49. Warhead yield: 1,440 KT. CEP: 3.23 km (2.00 mi). Boost Propulsion: Liquid rocket, Lox/Kerosene. Maximum speed: 29,030 kph (18,030 mph). Initial Operational Capability: 1960. Total Number Built: 381. Total Development Built: 18. Total Production Built: 343.

Stage Data - Atlas C

  • Stage 0. 1 x Atlas MA-2. Gross Mass: 3,050 kg (6,720 lb). Empty Mass: 3,050 kg (6,720 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,517.422 kN (341,130 lbf). Isp: 282 sec. Burn time: 135 sec. Isp(sl): 248 sec. Diameter: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 0.0000 m ( ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 2. Engine: XLR-89-5. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas B. Gross Mass: 107,610 kg (237,230 lb). Empty Mass: 3,980 kg (8,770 lb). Thrust (vac): 363.218 kN (81,655 lbf). Isp: 309 sec. Burn time: 240 sec. Isp(sl): 215 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 21.90 m (71.80 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: XLR-105-5. Status: Out of Production.

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

The XSM-65C Atlas C, flown between December 1958 and August 1959, tested the thin-skinned fuel tanks and the radio-command guidance in production configuration.


More at: Atlas C.

Family: coffin-launched, test vehicle. Country: USA. Engines: XLR105-5, XLR89-5. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC12. Stages: Atlas MA-2, Atlas B stage. Agency: Convair.

1958 January - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Scheduled design complete (95%) for Atlas C-series missiles - . Nation: USA.

1958 December 24 - . 04:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi). First Atlas C flight (3C), successful..

1959 January 27 - . 23:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Mod II re-entry vehicle research and development mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 990 km (610 mi).

1959 February 20 - . 05:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1959 March - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Atlas 6C blows up. - . Nation: USA. Missile 6C blows up, destroying ERB Stand 1-A..

1959 March 19 - . 00:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • RVX-2 re-entry vehicle research and development mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 July 21 - . 05:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Research and development / AFSWC-5 test / particles mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

    The first full-scale test of an ablation reentry vehicle (RVX-2) was conducted with the launch and successful flight of Atlas 8C. Following the 4,385 NM flight into the South Atlantic, the reentry vehicle was recovered. A full-scale USAF Atlas ICBM nose cone recovered for the first time after flight down the AMR.


1959 August 24 - . 15:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Research and development / AFSWC-6 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    The final Atlas Series C missile, 11C, was fired from Cape Canaveral. Three of the six Atlas C research and development test missiles were successful, while the other three were failures. Last successful Atlas C flight (11C); 9C exploded one month later during the Able static firing.



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