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Atlas F
Part of Atlas Family
Atlas F
Atlas F
Atlas F - COSPAR 1979-057
American intercontinental ballistic missile. Final operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance systems. Deployed as missiles from 1961 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used for over thirty years as space launch vehicles.

Status: Retired 1981. First Launch: 1961-08-09. Last Launch: 1981-06-23. Number: 69 . Payload: 820 kg (1,800 lb). Thrust: 1,713.80 kN (385,278 lbf). Gross mass: 121,980 kg (268,910 lb). Height: 24.00 m (78.00 ft). Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

LEO Payload: 820 kg (1,800 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 90.00 degrees. Launch Price $: 50.000 million in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost 1985$: 11.000 million in 1994 dollars. Initial Operational Capability: 1961.

Stage Data - Atlas F

  • Stage 0. 1 x Atlas MA-3. Gross Mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb). Empty Mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,644.960 kN (369,802 lbf). Isp: 290 sec. Burn time: 120 sec. Isp(sl): 256 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: LR-89-5. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas E/F. Gross Mass: 117,826 kg (259,761 lb). Empty Mass: 4,926 kg (10,859 lb). Thrust (vac): 386.300 kN (86,844 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 309 sec. Isp(sl): 214 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 20.12 m (66.01 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: LR-105-5. Status: In Production.

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

Because even the dispersed storage and semi-buried coffins of the Atlas E offered insufficient protection, the USAF decided already in 1959 to deploy Atlas missiles in underground silos, just like the HGM-25A Titan I. This resulted in the SM-65F Atlas F missile, which was essentially an SM-65E with a modified fueling system to accomodate the new silo launcher. The first silo-stored Atlas F squadron became operational in November 1962. Because the SM-65F could be fueled while still in the silo, launch survivability was much improved. After fueling, it took only two minutes to raise and launch the missile. In a crisis, it was even possible to store the SM-65F fully fueled in the silo for some length of time, which lead to a reaction time of only five minutes. However, fueling in the silo was even more dangerous than in the open, and four Atlas Fs violently exploded during this operation, destroying their silos.

In June 1963, the existing Atlas missiles were redesignated in the xGM-16 series as follows:

Old Designation New Designation
SM-65D CGM-16D
USM-65D CTM-16D
SM-65E CGM-16E
USM-65E CTM-16E
SM-65F HGM-16F

There are also sources which claim that the SM-65Ds based on unprotected pads at Vandenberg AFB were redesignated as PGM-16D. While this would be logical, the PGM-16D designation was apparently never officially allocated. Also, reports claiming that XPGM-16A, XPGM-16B, and XPGM-16C were the new designations for XSM-65A, XSM-65B, and XSM-65C, respectively, are in error, because all three development models had long been expended by 1963. While the 1963 redesignations did include some "paper" designations of retired or cancelled missiles, this was not true for the Atlas series.

After the LGM-30 Minuteman had become operational in early 1963, the Atlas became rapidly obsolete. By October 1964, all Atlas D missiles had been phased out, followed by the Atlas E-F in April 1965. About 350 Atlas ICBMs of all versions were built, with a peak deployment level of 129 (30 D, 27 E, 72 F).

The Atlas was used as a space launch vehicle since the very beginning of the program, and Atlas developments are still used in this role in the 21st century. Converted ICBMs and early purpose-built space launchers, usually with additional upper stages, were used by the USAF under the basic SLV-3 designator. In 1990, the Atlas E, Atlas II and Atlas IIA-AS vehicles received the official military designations SB-1A, SB-2A and SB-2B, respectively. Current prime contractor for all Atlas rockets is Lockheed-Martin.

Specifications

Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for CGM-16D-E and HGM-16F:

  CGM-16D CGM-16E-HGM-16F
Length 22.9 m (75 ft) 25.1 m (82 ft 6 in)
Diameter 3.05 m (10 ft)
Weight 118000 kg (260000 lb)
Speed 25000 km-h (15500 mph)
Ceiling 800 km (500 miles)
Range 10200 km (5500 nm)
Propulsion Booster: 2x Rocketdyne XLR89-NA-5; 666 kN (150000 lb) each
Sustainer: Rocketdyne XLR105-NA-5; 267 kN (60000 lb)
Vernier: 2x Rocketdyne LR101-NA-7; 4.5 kN (1000 lb) each
Booster: 2x Rocketdyne LR89-NA-5; 733 kN (165000 lb) each
Sustainer: Rocketdyne LR105-NA-5; 253 kN (57000 lb)
Vernier: 2x Rocketdyne LR101-NA-7; 4.5 kN (1000 lb) each
Warhead W-49 thermonuclear (1.45 MT) in Mk.2 or Mk.3 RV W-38 thermonuclear (4.5 MT) in Mk.4 RV
Main Sources

[1] James N. Gibson: "Nuclear Weapons of the United States", Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 1996
[2] Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
[3] Jacob Neufeld: "Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force, 1945-1960", Office of Air Force Histoy, 1990
[4] Jay Miller: "The X-Planes X-1 to X-45", Midland Publishing, 2001

The vehicles converted for space launch use and launched from Vandenberg AFB used a radio guidance system that was based on a modification of the General Electric Radio Tracking System (GERTS), originally employed on the Atlas D. In fact, the GERTS guidance used for space launch employed one of the original radar stations used for the Atlas D and even used some actual Atlas D components in its Pulse Beacon Decoder, the vehicle's X-band radio transponder. Newer solid state computers were used to run the guidance software and were interfaced with the radar; eventually they were made redundant, although with a human operator charged with detecting failure.

The large Bosch-Arma pod on the side of the Atlas E and F space boosters launched from Vandenberg AFB from the mid-70's to the mid-90's was in fact empty. It was not removed and replaced with a more streamlined fairing since that would have cost money and gained no significant performance. So, the Atlas E and F space boosters used Atlas E and F ICBM airframes and engines with the tanks modified with a new payload interface section, a mixture of Atlas E and F components (selected based on which designs were most suitable for the space launch mission) and a modified Atlas D radio guidance system.

GERTS was a complex, glitch-prone system, its only saving graces being that it was both the cheapest guidance system around and the most reliable, operating for almost 30 years without one flight failure and at a per-flight cost an order of magnitude below that of an inertial guidance system. Prior to Apollo-Saturn, all U.S. manned orbital flights used GERTS, both on the Mercury-Atlas D and the Gemini-Titan II missions.

The proper way to refer to the space booster Atlas E's and F's was "Atlas E-F Space Booster," because of the mix of configuration features. Of course, individually the boosters were referred to by their "Tail Numbers" such as 19F, 76E, 68E, etc. The total launched cost of an Atlas E-F space booster was about $15M - or less than 1-3 the cost of a Titan II space booster, and less than 1-20th what was finally admitted as the cost of a single Space Shuttle mission. About 35 unmodified Atlas E-F missiles in storage at Norton AFB were scrapped in the early 1970's. The Space Shuttle was coming and it was assumed that they were not needed. The cost of maintaining them in storage was "horrendous" - about $2000 each per year. At least a half billion dollars worth of perfectly usable, incredibly cheap space boosters (equivalent to a couple of billon dollars in replacement costs) were run over with a bulldozer in order to save perhaps one million dollars in storage costs overtwenty years . The Air Force officer who recommended this travesty of planning received a medal for his farsightedness.


More at: Atlas F.

Family: ICBM. Country: USA. Engines: LR105-5, LR89-5. Spacecraft: TIROS, Calsphere, OV1, LCS, OV5, Orbiscal, RADCAT, RM, Boost Glide Re-entry Vehicle, Cannonball, Gridsphere, Musketball, Mylar, Rigidsphere, NOSS, Radsat, NTS, P 72, NOSS-Subsat, GPS Block 1, Seasat, Tiros N, Solwind. Projects: Navstar. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Cape Canaveral LC11, Cape Canaveral LC13, Vandenberg 576A2, Vandenberg 576A3, Vandenberg SLC3W, Altus AFB, Vandenberg 576E, Vandenberg OSTF2, Schilling AFB, Lincoln AFB, Vandenberg 576A1, Dyess AFB, Walker AFB, Plattsburgh AFB, Vandenberg 576D, Walker AFB Site 579, Altus AFB 577-6. Stages: Atlas E/F, Atlas MA-3. Agency: Convair.
Photo Gallery

Atlas FAtlas F
Credit: © Mark Wade



1960 Apr - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Headquarters USAF approved a 1 x 12 configuration for Atlas squadrons 8 through 13 - each squadron would have 12 individual launch facilities. - .

1960 April 6 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • Atlas E/F silo-lift strategic missile squadrons were enlarged from 9-12 launchers to 10-13 each. In these units, the Atlas missiles would be maintained in hardened underground silos. - .

1960 July 15 - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The 576A Strategic Missile Squadron (Atlas F) was activated at Vandenberg AFB and assigned to SAC's First Missile Division. - .

1961 August 9 - . 04:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The first Series F Atlas missile (2F) was successfully launched from Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral and completed its test flight. First F flight, at AMR), successful.

1961 November 22 - . 21:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development / Pod 3, 22 test / ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1961 December 12 - . 20:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development / Pod 24 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 December 21 - . 03:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test / Pod 15, 25 chemical release / ionosphere / meteorite mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1962 April - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas F training facility activated. - . Nation: USA. VAFB Atlas F training facility turned over to SAC.

1962 April 9 - . 20:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF.

1962 August 1 - . 21:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The first Atlas F missile (15F) was launched from Vandenberg on an operational test flight. First successful Atlas F flight at operational site, SMS 576E (15F).

1962 August 10 - . 21:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1962 August 13 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development / Pod 16 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1962 September - . Launch Site: Schilling AFB. Launch Complex: Schilling AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 560 operational. - . Nation: USA. Schilling AFB SMS 550 operational.

1962 September 7 - . Launch Site: Schilling AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The first Atlas F (HGM-16AF) missile squadron, the 550th Strategic Missile Squadron at Schilling AFB, Kansas, was turned over to SAC. - . This was the first Atlas unit to feature the silo-lift storage/launcher configuration for improved hardness and survivability..

1962 September 15 - . Launch Site: Lincoln AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The second silo-lift Atlas F squadron, the 551st Strategic Missile Squadron at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, was turned over to SAC. - .

1962 September 15 - . Launch Site: Lincoln AFB. Launch Complex: Lincoln AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 551 operational. - . Nation: USA. Lincoln AFB SMS 551 operational.

1962 September 19 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development / Pod 17 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). Atlas 8F, the seventh Series F R&D missile, was the 100th to be launched from Cape Canaveral since the first abortive launch on 11 June 1957 and the 145th Atlas to be launched from both Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg. .

1962 October 9 - . Launch Site: Altus AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The 577th Strategic Missile Squadron at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, was the third Atlas F squadron turned over to SAC by Ballistic Systems Division site activation task forces (SATAFs). - .

1962 October 9 - . Launch Site: Altus AFB. Launch Complex: Altus AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 577 operational. - . Nation: USA. Altus AFB SMS 577 operational.

1962 October 19 - . 18:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1962 November 4 - . Launch Site: Dyess AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The Atlas F missile squadron located at Dyess AFB, Texas - the 578th Strategic Missile Squadron - was turned over to SAC. - .

1962 November 7 - . 19:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1962 November 14 - . 22:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1962 November 15 - . Launch Site: Dyess AFB. Launch Complex: Dyess AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 578 operational. - . Nation: USA. Dyess AFB SMS 578 operational.

1962 November 30 - . Launch Site: Walker AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The Atlas F silo-lift squadron at Walker AFB, New Mexico, was turned over to SAC (579th SMS) and was declared fully operational 8 December. - .

1962 November 30 - . Launch Site: Walker AFB. Launch Complex: Walker AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 579 operational. - . Nation: USA. Walker AFB SMS 579 operational.

1962 December 5 - . 21:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    The final Atlas F research and development flight test missile (21F) was launched down the Atlantic Missile Range. Ten missiles were launched in this series - seven were successes and three failures. The launch of Atlas 21F brought flight testing of Atlas operational missiles from Cape Canaveral to an end after almost five and one-half years. Since the first R&D Atlas was launched on 11 June 1957, 83 Atlas Series A through F missiles had been fired from the Cape - 52 of them successes or partials and 31 failures. Last Atlas F R&D flight.


1962 December 20 - . Launch Site: Plattsburgh AFB. Launch Complex: Plattsburgh AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 556 - last Atlas squadron - operational. - . Nation: USA. Plattsburgh AFB SMS 556 (last Atlas squadron) operational.

1963 March 1 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES REX-I / Pod 1 Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi).

1963 March 16 - . 02:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576D. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OT TALL TREE 5 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1963 March 21 - . 21:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1963 March 24 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • OT TALL TREE 4 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1963 April 27 - . 02:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES REX-II re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1963 June 1 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas F propellant loading accident. - . Nation: USA. Exploded during propellant loading (Walker AFB 1).

1963 June 2 - . 00:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Walker AFB. Launch Complex: Walker AFB Site 579. Launch Pad: Walker AFB Missile Site 579. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Error mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1963 October 4 - . 05:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC.

1963 October 28 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • ABRES WAC-1 / Pod 21 Reentry test / plume mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1963 December 18 - . 22:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    Atlas 109F was the final Atlas research and development flight test missile to be launched. Since the first attempted launch of a Series A Atlas on 11 June 1957, 95 Atlas missiles had been used in the R&D program - eight As, nine Bs, six Cs, 32 Ds, 24 Es, and 16 Fs. All but 12 of these were launched from Cape Canaveral. Of the 95 launches, 57 were considered successful while 38 were failures.


1964 January 6 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The update program for the Atlas F missile sites began on schedule. - .

1964 February 1 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Ballistic Systems Division transferred system and engineering responsibility for the Atlas F missile to AFLC's San Bernardino Air Materiel Area (SBAMA), Norton AFB, Califoria. - .

1964 February 13 - . 18:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Walker AFB. Launch Complex: Walker AFB Site 579. Launch Pad: Walker AFB Missile Site 579. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Exploded during propellant loading..
  • Accident - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Operational ICBM test at Walker AFB..

1964 March 9 - . 21:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Walker AFB. Launch Complex: Walker AFB Site 579. Launch Pad: Walker AFB Missile Site 579. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Exploded during propellant loading..
  • Accident - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Operational ICBM test at Walker AFB..

1964 April 1 - . 20:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES WAC-2 / Pod 2 Reentry test / plume mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The last of four Atlas F (137F) ABRES test missiles was flown down the Atlantic Missile Range from Cape Canaveral. .

1964 April 3 - . 20:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1964 May 14 - . Launch Site: Altus AFB. Launch Complex: Altus AFB 577-6. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Exploded during propellant loading..
  • Accident - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Operational missile test at Altus AFB..

1964 May 16 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • The Defense Department tentatively established phase out of the Atlas E and Titan I missiles during the third and fourth quarters of FY1965 (January-June 1965) and that of the Atlas F in FY1968. - .

1964 August 7 - . 20:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1964 August 31 - . 15:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576D. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1964 November 19 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara officially announced his decision to retire Atlas E,F, and Titan I ICBM weapon systems from the active operational inventory. - . Related Persons: , McNamara.

    They were said to be no longer supportable from requirements, cost, or manpower use standpoints. Moreover, the relative slow-reacting, liquid-fueled Atlas and Titan I missiles had provided the initial deterrent that was necessary and would now be replaced by the less vulnerable, more easily maintained Minuteman and Titan II ICBMs.


1964 November 21 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Headquarters USAF issued Atlas System Program Directive 107A-65-1 announcing the scheduled phase out of the Atlas F from the operational force by the end of FY1965 (30 June 1965). - .

1964 December 22 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1965 January 8 - . 18:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg OSTF2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    Atlas 106F concluded SAC's Atlas F operational test launch program from Vandenberg AFB that had begun on 9 September 1959. During the series, 51 Atlas missiles were launched by SAC crews to verify the operational missiles, with 30 of them ruled successes.


1965 January 13 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • The Defense Department announced that by the end of FY1965 (June 1965), 150 more ICBM sites would be inactivated and the Atlas E, F, and Titan I missiles removed and placed in storage. - .

    The missiles werer stored at San Bernardino Air Materiel Area (SBAMA) facilities at Norton AFB, California. The retired missiles would be replaced by more advanced Minuteman missiles whose annual combat-ready costs were $100,000 per missile compared to nearly $1.0 million for each of the older, more complicated liquid-fueled ICBMs.. In addition, manpower savings would be substantial since only 12 men were required for support of each Minuteman versus approximately 80 for each Atlas or Titan.


1965 March 25 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • Eight Atlas and Titan I missile squadrons were inactivated . - .

    These were: two Atlas E units, the 566th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) at Warren and the 548th SMS at Forbes AFB, Kansas; three Atlas F squadrons, the 577th SMS at Altus, the 578th SMS at Dyess, and the 579th SMS at Walker; and three Titan I squadrons, the 851st SMS at Beale, the 850th SMS at Ellsworth, and the 568th SMS at Larson AFB, Washington.


1965 April 20 - . Launch Site: Lincoln AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The final Atlas F missile departed Lincoln AFB, Nebraska (551st Strategic Missile Squadron), for retirement and storage. - .

1965 June 25 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Atlas E, Atlas F.
  • The remaining seven Atlas and Titan I squadrons assigned to SAC were inactivated. - .

    These included the last Atlas E squadron, the 567th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) at Fairchild; three Atlas F units at Schilling (550th SMS), Lincoln (551st SMS), and Plattsburgh (556th SMS); and three Titan I squadrons, and the 569th SMS at Mountain Home along with the two units at Lowry, the 724th and 725th SMSs. These actions concluded the phase out of all Atlas and Titan I ICBMs in the SAC operational inventory.


1965 August 5 - . 13:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES LORV-2A re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The first Atlas F (147F) Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) program launch was conducted at Vandenberg. The four previous Atlas F/ABRES launches were from Cape Canaveral, and the rest would be conducted on the Western Test Range. .

1965 September 15 - . Launch Site: Atlas F.
  • Major General Ben I. Funk, Space Systems Division commander, announced the development of a new, low-cost space upper stage called Burner II. - . Adaptable for use with almost all Air Force standard launch vehicles, the Burner II would be to orbit small and medium-sized payloads. When completed, the Burner II would be the smallest maneuverable upper stage in the Air Force space vehicle inventory..

1966 April - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Final active Atlas squadron deactivated. - . Nation: USA. VAFB SMS 576 deactivated.

1966 April 15 - . Launch Site: Atlas F.
  • The Thiokol Chemical Corporation successfully test fired the Burner II solid rocket motor. - .

1966 August 8 - . 17:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • ABRES MBRV-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1966 October 11 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • ABRES SBGRV-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1967 January 18 - . 01:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES TVX-13 (21) re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1967 February 13 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES TX-22 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1967 March 16 - . 17:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES MBRV-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The second Maneuvering Ballistic Reentry Vehicle (MBRV-2) was launched down the Western Test Range by Atlas 151F. Performance of the launch vehicle was satisfactory, but the MBRV failed to accomplish its planned reentry. .

1967 May 19 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES SBGRV-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1967 July 29 - . 08:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES MBRV-3 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    Launched from Vandenberg AFB atop Atlas booster 150F, the third Maneuvering Ballistic Reentry Vehicle (MBRV-3) achieved the first successful flight and reentry of a maneuvering ballistic reentry vehicle in the Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) program. MBRV-3 successfully accomplished its planned terminal maneuver during reentry, and all objectives were achieved.


1967 October 14 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES MBRV-4 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1967 November 10 - . 12:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES BGRV-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 February 26 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES BGRV-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The Boost Glide Re-entry Vehicle was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California to the area of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. It was launched from an Atlas missile booster and served to provide data on hypersonic manoeuvring flight characteristics..

1968 April 6 - . 09:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-13 - . Mass: 107 kg (235 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 3173 . COSPAR: 1968-026A. Apogee: 9,214 km (5,725 mi). Perigee: 587 km (364 mi). Inclination: 100.0000 deg. Period: 198.70 min. Radiation, engineering experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-14 - . Mass: 101 kg (222 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 3174 . COSPAR: 1968-026B. Apogee: 9,858 km (6,125 mi). Perigee: 568 km (352 mi). Inclination: 100.0000 deg. Period: 207.00 min. Radiation data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 May 3 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • ABRES Penaid TVX re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 June 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES PDV re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 June 29 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 July 11 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-15S - . Payload: Spades. Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1968-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 3318 . COSPAR: 1968-059A. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi). Perigee: 153 km (95 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 104.60 min. Studied relationship between atmospheric density and solar radiation. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-16 Cannonball 1 - . Payload: Loads. Mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1968-08-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3319 . COSPAR: 1968-059B. Apogee: 556 km (345 mi). Perigee: 145 km (90 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Ionospheric drag tests. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 September 27 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • RVTO-1A-3 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 November 24 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • RVTO-1A-4 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1969 March 18 - . 07:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-17S - . Mass: 142 kg (313 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1970-03-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 3823 . COSPAR: 1969-025A. Apogee: 466 km (289 mi). Perigee: 400 km (240 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 93.20 min.

    Atlas 104F was launched from Vandenberg AFB and placed 41 scientific experiments into orbit as part of SAMSO's Space Experiments Support Program (SESP). Solar radiation experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).

  • OV1-17A Orbiscal 2 - . Payload: OV1-17P. Mass: 221 kg (487 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1969-03-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3826 . COSPAR: 1969-025D. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 175 km (108 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. Radio beacon mountedon OV17 propulsion module. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-19S - . Mass: 124 kg (273 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 3825 . COSPAR: 1969-025C. Apogee: 5,551 km (3,449 mi). Perigee: 483 km (300 mi). Inclination: 104.8000 deg. Period: 151.10 min. Radiation experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-18S - . Mass: 125 kg (275 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1972-08-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 3824 . COSPAR: 1969-025B. Apogee: 583 km (362 mi). Perigee: 466 km (289 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Ionospheric, radiation, electric field data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1969 Jun - . Launch Site: Atlas F.
  • SAMSO began development of the Burner IIA solid-propellant second-stage vehicle that would provide a tandem motor injection stage and on-orbit capability nearly twice that of the existing Burner II. - .

1969 August 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-5 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1969 December 3 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-6 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1970 June 9 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-7 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1971 April 5 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES LAR-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1971 August 7 - . 00:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-20P - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1971-08-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 5394 . COSPAR: 1971-067A. Apogee: 1,932 km (1,200 mi). Perigee: 136 km (84 mi). Inclination: 92.0000 deg. Period: 105.90 min.

    Atlas 76F, with two upper stage Orbital Vehicle propulsion modules, OV1-20 and 0V1-21, was launched from Vandenberg as part of SAMSO's Space Test Program (STP). This mission, STP 70-2, successfully placed six spacecraft with nine separate payloads into polar orbits. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).

  • OV1-21P - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 5397 . COSPAR: 1971-067B. Apogee: 896 km (556 mi). Perigee: 778 km (483 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Rigidsphere - . Payload: AVL-802 Rigid Sphere. Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Rigidsphere. Decay Date: 1979-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 5406 . COSPAR: 1971-067H. Apogee: 916 km (569 mi). Perigee: 781 km (485 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Mylar Balloon - . Payload: AVL-802 Mylar Sphere. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Mylar. Decay Date: 1981-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 5410 . COSPAR: 1971-067P. Apogee: 912 km (566 mi). Perigee: 791 km (491 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Gridsphere 2 - . Payload: AVL-802 Grid Sphere 7-2. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Gridsphere. Decay Date: 1979-03-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 5401 . COSPAR: 1971-067G. Apogee: 915 km (568 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Gridsphere 1 - . Payload: AVL-802 Grid Sphere 7-1. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Gridsphere. USAF Sat Cat: 5398 . COSPAR: 1971-067E. Apogee: 856 km (531 mi). Perigee: 756 km (469 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.00 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Cannonball 2 - . Payload: LOADS 2. Mass: 364 kg (802 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Surveillance. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Cannonball. Decay Date: 1972-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 5382 . COSPAR: 1971-067C. Apogee: 1,970 km (1,220 mi). Perigee: 133 km (82 mi). Inclination: 92.0000 deg. Period: 106.30 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Musketball 1 - . Payload: RTDS. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Musketball. Decay Date: 1971-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 5383 . COSPAR: 1971-067D. Apogee: 859 km (533 mi). Perigee: 134 km (83 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • LCS 4 - . Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Class: Surveillance. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: LCS. Decay Date: 1972-06-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 5396 . COSPAR: 1971-067F. Apogee: 910 km (560 mi). Perigee: 779 km (484 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1971 September 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES LAR-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1973 August 29 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS RVTO-3A-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1973 September 30 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS ACE-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    Atlas 108F, carrying the Advanced Control Experiment 1 (ACE 1) vehicle, was launched from Vandenberg AFB and impacted in the Kwajalein area. The ACE 1 vehicle was to test the development of a preprototype of maneuvering reentry vehicle (MaRV) as part of the Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) program.


1974 March 6 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS SFT-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1974 March 23 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS ACE-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1974 May 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS SFT-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1974 June 28 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS SFT-3 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1974 September 8 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS ACE-3 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1974 October 14 - . 04:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • BMRS RVTO-3A-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

    Surplus Atlas 31F was launched from Vanden-berg AFB carrying a Reentry Vehicles Technology and Observables (RVT0-3A-1) payload. This successful launch and flight marked the apparent end of the use of Atlas D,E, and F ICBMs in support of various Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) and other governmental agency programs. Since Atlas 159D was launched from Vandenberg AFB on 26 October 1962 in support of the Nike Targets Program, a total of 113 Atlas missiles - 54Ds, 4Es, and 55Fs - have been launched with only 11 failures.


1975 April 13 - . 00:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: First stage failure due to explosion in flame pit at lift-off.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • P 72-2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Military technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P. Spacecraft: P 72. Decay Date: 1975-04-12 .

    Space Test Program flight P72-2 was launched; it carried two infrared radiometers and three other payloads. The launch failed when the Atlas F launch vehicle malfunctioned. A lack of deluge water and collection in the flame bucket of a kerosene/liquid oxygen gel led to the explosion of the gel on lift-off, damaging one of the Atlas engines and leading to complete engine failure during the ascent.


1975 December 18 - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Congress approved funding for the activation of SLC-3E, Vandenberg AFB, and its conversion to an Atlas F configuration. - .

1976 Mar - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Construction began on the activation of SLC-3E, Vandenberg AFB, and its conversion to an Atlas F configuration. - .

1977 Mar - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • The task of activating Space Launch Complex 3 East, Vandenberg AFB, and converting it to an Atlas F configuration was completed. - .

1978 October 13 - . 11:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Tiros N - . Mass: 734 kg (1,618 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 11060 . COSPAR: 1978-096A. Apogee: 845 km (525 mi). Perigee: 829 km (515 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.70 min.

    An Atlas booster launched a TIROS-N prototype weather satellite designed and funded by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The launch took place at Vandenberg AFB and was successful. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).


1978 December 12 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • SAMSO released a draft RFP for a more powerful stage vehicle to be used on the Atlas F in launching GPS satellites. - . Spacecraft: Navstar.

1979 June 24 - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas booster 25F successfully launched NASA's NOAA-A satellite from Vandenberg AFB, California. - .

1979 June 27 - . 15:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • NOAA 6 - . Payload: NOAA A. Mass: 723 kg (1,593 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 11416 . COSPAR: 1979-057A. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1980 May 29 - . 10:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Atlas sustainer engine under-thrust resulted in 50 second extended burn time, and spacecraft attempted to separate and fired apogee kick motor while booster was still thrusting.. Failed Stage: P.
  • NOAA B - . Payload: NOAA B. Mass: 1,405 kg (3,097 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. Decay Date: 1981-05-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 11819 . COSPAR: 1980-043A. Apogee: 1,445 km (897 mi). Perigee: 264 km (164 mi). Inclination: 92.2000 deg. Period: 102.10 min.

    Unusable orbit; would have been NOAA 7. At engine start up, one of the booster engines suffered an internal fuel leak, causing it to run at about 80% thrust. As a result the booster was low on velocity and heavy on propellant over much of its flight and ran an incredible 50 seconds longer than the nominal burn. The NOAA Advanced TIROS payload was designed with no direct communication with the booster, and unaware of the booster problem, at 375 sec after liftoff attempted to separate with the booster still firing. The booster's continued thrusting defeated the payload's attempt to perform the required pitch maneuver. When the payload fired its apogee kick motor, it blew the top of the booster's liquid oxygen tank off. The spacecraft survived all this, but the resultant orbit was highly elliptical rather than the desired circular sun-synchronous. The mission was a total loss. Officially: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).>


1981 June 23 - . 10:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • NOAA 7 - . Payload: NOAA C. Mass: 1,405 kg (3,097 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 12553 . COSPAR: 1981-059A. Apogee: 847 km (526 mi). Perigee: 828 km (514 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1985 February 6 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • USAF - . Nation: USA.


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