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Atlas SLV-3D Centaur
Part of Atlas Family
SLV-3D Centaur
SLV-3D Centaur
SLV-3D Centaur AC-39 - COSPAR 1977-041
Fully developed version of Atlas with Centaur D-1A upper stage.

AKA: Atlas Centaur SLV-3D;SLV-3C;SLV-3D. Status: Retired 1983. First Launch: 1973-04-06. Last Launch: 1983-05-19. Number: 32 . Payload: 1,900 kg (4,100 lb). Thrust: 1,939.29 kN (435,970 lbf). Gross mass: 148,404 kg (327,174 lb). Height: 38.00 m (124.00 ft). Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi).

LEO Payload: 1,800 kg (3,900 lb). Payload: 1,800 kg (3,900 lb) to a GTO. LEO Payload: 1,900 kg (4,100 lb). Payload: 1,900 kg (4,100 lb) to a GTO.

Stage Data - Atlas Centaur SLV-3D

  • Stage 0. 1 x Atlas MA-5. Gross Mass: 3,646 kg (8,038 lb). Empty Mass: 3,646 kg (8,038 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,896.010 kN (426,240 lbf). Isp: 294 sec. Burn time: 174 sec. Isp(sl): 259 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-89-7. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas Centaur SLV-3C/D. Gross Mass: 128,500 kg (283,200 lb). Empty Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Thrust (vac): 386.300 kN (86,844 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 430 sec. Isp(sl): 220 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 22.20 m (72.80 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: LR-105-5. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Centaur D/E. Gross Mass: 16,258 kg (35,842 lb). Empty Mass: 2,631 kg (5,800 lb). Thrust (vac): 131.222 kN (29,500 lbf). Isp: 444 sec. Burn time: 470 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Length: 9.60 m (31.40 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: RL-10A-3. Status: Out of Production.



Family: orbital launch vehicle. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Comstar, Intelsat 4, Pioneer 10-11, Mariner 10, Intelsat 4A, HEAO, FLTSATCOM, Pioneer 12, Pioneer 13, Intelsat 5. Projects: Intelsat, Mariner, Pioneer series. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC36A, Cape Canaveral LC36B. Stages: Centaur D/E, Atlas MA-5, Atlas Centaur SLV-3C/D. Agency: Convair.
Photo Gallery

Atlas Centaur SLV-3DAtlas Centaur SLV-3D
Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva


Atlas Centaur No. 40Atlas Centaur No. 40
Credit: Lockheed Martin



1973 April 6 - . 02:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Pioneer 11 - . Payload: Pioneer G. Mass: 259 kg (570 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Outer planets. Type: Outer planets probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 10-11. USAF Sat Cat: 6421 . COSPAR: 1973-019A.

    NASA's Atlas/Centaur was launched from Cape Canaveral carrying Pioneer 11 (Jupiter-Saturn). This was the first SLV-3D Atlas booster (vehicle 5011D), and the first SLV-3 to use the new 370,000-pound thrust MA-5 booster package for improved payload performance. Jupiter flyby December 1974; Saturn flyby September 1979. Solar system escape trajectory. Pioneer 11 was the second mission to investigate Jupiter and the outer solar system and the first to explore the planet Saturn and its main rings. Pioneer 11, like Pioneer 10, used Jupiter's gravitational field to alter its trajectory radically. It passed close to Saturn and then it followed an escape trajectory from the solar system. During its closest approach, December 4, 1974, Pioneer 11 passed to within 34,000 km of Jupiter's cloud tops. It passed by Saturn on September 1, 1979, at a distance of 21,000 km from Saturn's cloud tops. The spacecraft has operated on a backup transmitter since launch. Instrument power sharing began in February 1985 due to declining RTG power output. Science operations and daily telemetry ceased on September 30, 1995 when the RTG power level was insufficient to operate any experiments. As of the end of 1995 the spacecraft was located at 44.7 AU from the Sun at a nearly asymptotic latitude of 17.4 degrees above the solar equatorial plane and was heading outward at 2.5 AU/year. Routine tracking and project data processing operations were terminated on March 31, 1997 for budget reasons.


1973 August 23 - . 22:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4 F-7 - . Mass: 1,410 kg (3,100 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4. Completed Operations Date: 1984-02-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 6796 . COSPAR: 1973-058A. Apogee: 36,132 km (22,451 mi). Perigee: 36,080 km (22,410 mi). Inclination: 10.4000 deg. Period: 1,452.50 min.

    Over Atlantic Ocean. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 30 deg W in 1973-1976 over the Atlantic Ocean 1 deg W in 1976-1980; over the Indian Ocean 56 deg E in 1980-1981; over the Pacific Ocean179 deg E in 1981-1982; over the Atlantic Ocean 53 deg W in 1982-1983 As of 31 August 2001 located at 74.52 deg W drifting at 4.067 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 19.61E drifting at 4.058W degrees per day.


1973 November 3 - . 05:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Mariner 10 - . Payload: Mariner 73J. Mass: 526 kg (1,159 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL, NASA. Program: Mariner. Class: Mercury. Type: Mercury probe. Spacecraft Bus: Mariner. Spacecraft: Mariner 10. USAF Sat Cat: 6919 . COSPAR: 1973-085A.

    An Atlas/Agena D launched Mariner 10 (Mariner Venus-Mercury) from the Eastern Test Range. The spacecraft was scheduled for Venus f lyby in February 1974 and Mercury in March 1974 - it would be the first space probe ever to approach Mercury. Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft to reach Mercury. Mariner 10 was placed in a parking orbit for 25 minutes after launch, then accelerated to a trans-Venus escape trajectory. The television and ultraviolet experiments were trained on the comet Kohoutek while the spacecraft was en route to its destination. The vehicle's first planetary encounter was with Venus on February 5, 1974, at a distance of 4200 km. Mariner 10 took 4,000 photos of Venus, which revealed a nearly round planet enveloped in smooth cloud layers. The gravity of Venus bent the orbit of the spacecraft and sent it towards Mercury. It crossed the orbit of Mercury on March 29, 1974, at 20:46 GMT, at a distance of 704 km from the surface. Photographs taken during the pass revealed an intensely cratered, Moon-like surface and a faint atmosphere of mostly helium. After the first flyby, Mariner 10 entered solar orbit, which permitted two more rendezvous with Mercury. On September 21, 1974, the second Mercury rendezvous, at an altitude of about 47,000 km, provided another opportunity to photograph the sunlit side of the planet and the south polar region. The third and final Mercury encounter on March 16, 1975, at an altitude of 327 km, yielded 300 photographs and magnetic field measurements. The vehicle was turned off March 24, 1975 when the supply of attitude-control gas was depleted.


1974 November 21 - . 23:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4 F-8 - . Mass: 1,410 kg (3,100 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4. Completed Operations Date: 1985-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 7544 . COSPAR: 1974-093A. Apogee: 35,944 km (22,334 mi). Perigee: 35,907 km (22,311 mi). Inclination: 8.8000 deg. Period: 1,443.20 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 174 deg E in 1974-1982; over the Pacific Ocean 179 deg E in 1982; over the Atlantic Ocean 1 deg W in 1983-1985 As of 1 September 2001 located at 139.80 deg W drifting at 1.762 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 61.11W drifting at 1.754W degrees per day.


1975 February 20 - . 23:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur. FAILURE: Staging electrical disconnect.. Failed Stage: U.
1975 May 22 - . 22:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4 F-1 - . Mass: 727 kg (1,602 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4. Completed Operations Date: 1987-10-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 7815 . COSPAR: 1975-042A. Apogee: 36,128 km (22,448 mi). Perigee: 36,016 km (22,379 mi). Inclination: 8.9000 deg. Period: 1,450.70 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 63 deg E in 1976-1978; over the Atlantic Ocean 17.0 deg W in 1978; over the Atlantic Ocean 18.5 deg W in 1979-1981; over the Pacific Ocean 174 deg E in 1982; over the Atlantic Ocean 53 deg W in 1983-1984; over the Atlantic Ocean 50 deg W in 1984-1987 As of 30 August 2001 located at 111.08 deg W drifting at 3.657 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 95.13E drifting at 3.657W degrees per day.


1975 September 26 - . 00:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4A F-1 - . Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1986-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 8330 . COSPAR: 1975-091A. Apogee: 35,910 km (22,310 mi). Perigee: 35,860 km (22,280 mi). Inclination: 8.9000 deg. Period: 1,441.10 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 25 deg W in 1975-1981; over the Atlantic Ocean 18.5 deg W in 1982-1983; over the Atlantic Ocean 30 deg W in 1983-1986 As of 30 August 2001 located at 4.05 deg E drifting at 1.213 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 28.51E drifting at 1.239W degrees per day.


1976 January 29 - . 23:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4A F-2 - . Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1985-12-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 8620 . COSPAR: 1976-010A. Apogee: 35,981 km (22,357 mi). Perigee: 35,924 km (22,322 mi). Inclination: 9.0000 deg. Period: 1,444.60 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 29.5 deg W in 1976-79; over the Atlantic Ocean 27.5 deg W in 1979-1980; over the Atlantic Ocean 21.5 deg W in 1980-1983; over the Indian Ocean 57 deg E in 1983-1984; over the Atlantic Ocean 2-4 deg W in 1984-1985 As of 3 September 2001 located at 151.88 deg E drifting at 2.088 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 130.98W drifting at 2.123W degrees per day.


1976 May 13 - . 22:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Comstar 1 - . Payload: Comstar 1A. Mass: 792 kg (1,746 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Comsat. Program: Comstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1984-10-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 8838 . COSPAR: 1976-042A. Apogee: 35,925 km (22,322 mi). Perigee: 35,903 km (22,309 mi). Inclination: 12.7000 deg. Period: 1,442.60 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 128 deg W in 1976-1981 over the Americas at 95 deg W in 1981-1983 over the Atlantic Ocean 76 deg W in 1983-1984 As of 4 September 2001 located at 48.64 deg E drifting at 1.641 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 31.21E drifting at 1.624W degrees per day.


1976 July 22 - . 22:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Comstar 2 - . Payload: Comstar 1B. Mass: 792 kg (1,746 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Comsat. Program: Comstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1993-12-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 9047 . COSPAR: 1976-073A. Apogee: 35,887 km (22,299 mi). Perigee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Inclination: 12.6000 deg. Period: 1,440.40 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 95 deg W in 1976-1983 over the Americas at 76 deg W in 1983-1993 As of 28 August 2001 located at 172.63 deg W drifting at 1.031 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 150.18W drifting at 1.064W degrees per day.


1977 May 26 - . 21:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4A F-4 - . Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1989-08-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 10024 . COSPAR: 1977-041A. Apogee: 36,075 km (22,415 mi). Perigee: 35,969 km (22,350 mi). Inclination: 7.8000 deg. Period: 1,448.20 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 34.5 deg W in 1977-1983 over the Atlantic Ocean 21.5 deg W in 1983-1989 As of 28 August 2001 located at 153.30 deg E drifting at 2.976 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 121.69W drifting at 3.003W degrees per day.


1977 August 12 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 1 - . Payload: HEAO A. Mass: 2,720 kg (5,990 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1979-03-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 10217 . COSPAR: 1977-075A. Apogee: 447 km (277 mi). Perigee: 429 km (266 mi). Inclination: 22.7000 deg. Period: 93.40 min. High Energy Astronomical Observatory; surveyed sky in X-ray band. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1977 September 30 - . 01:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur. FAILURE: Atlas failure - gas generator hot gas leak.. Failed Stage: 1.
1978 January 7 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4A F-3 - . Mass: 1,511 kg (3,331 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1988-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 10557 . COSPAR: 1978-002A. Apogee: 35,909 km (22,312 mi). Perigee: 35,874 km (22,291 mi). Inclination: 7.2000 deg. Period: 1,441.50 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 60 deg E in 1978-1982 over the Pacific Ocean 179 deg E in 1982-1986 over the Pacific Ocean 177 deg E in 1986-1988 As of 2 September 2001 located at 156.51 deg W drifting at 1.304 deg W per day. As of 2007 Feb 27 located at 107.90E drifting at 1.326W degrees per day.


1978 February 9 - . 21:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Fltsatcom 1 - . Mass: 1,884 kg (4,153 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Fltsatcom. USAF Sat Cat: 10669 . COSPAR: 1978-016A. Apogee: 36,170 km (22,470 mi). Perigee: 36,119 km (22,443 mi). Inclination: 14.6000 deg. Period: 1,454.40 min.

    An Atlas booster was launched from Cape Canaveral carrying the first FLTSATCOM satellite. The launch was successful, and the satellite functioned normally once in orbit. It was declared operational on 4 April. Fleet Satellite Communications. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 100 deg W in 1978-1987; over the Pacific Ocean 177 deg W in 1987-1992; over the Atlantic Ocean 15 deg W in 1992-1996;over the Indian Ocean 72 deg E in 1996-2001. Last known longitude (26 July 1999) 71.17 deg E drifting at 0.004 deg W per day.


1978 March 31 - . 23:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 4A F-6 - . Mass: 826 kg (1,821 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1986-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 10778 . COSPAR: 1978-035A. Apogee: 35,823 km (22,259 mi). Perigee: 35,758 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 11.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 63 deg E in 1978-1982; over the Pacific Ocean 174 deg E in 1982-1986; over the Pacific Ocean 170 deg E in 1986 As of 26 August 2001 located at 92.43 deg E drifting at 0.407 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 75.50E drifting at 0.437W degrees per day.


1978 May 20 - . 13:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Pioneer Venus Orbiter - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 1. Mass: 582 kg (1,283 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 12. Decay Date: 1992-10-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 10911 . COSPAR: 1978-051A.

    The Pioneer Venus Orbiter was inserted into an elliptical orbit around Venus on December 4, 1978. After entering orbit around Venus in 1978, the spacecraft returned global maps of the planet's clouds, atmosphere and ionosphere, measurements of the atmosphere-solar wind interaction, and radar maps of 93 percent of the planet's surface. Additionally, the vehicle made use of several opportunities to make systematic UV observations of several comets. From Venus orbit insertion to July 1980, periapsis was held between 142 and 253 km (at 17 degrees north latitude) to facilitate radar and ionospheric measurements. The spacecraft was in a 24 hour orbit with an apoapsis of 66,900 km. Thereafter, the periapsis was allowed to rise (to 2290 km at maximum) and then fall, to conserve fuel. In 1991 the Radar Mapper was reactivated to investigate previously inaccessible southern portions of the planet. In May 1992 Pioneer Venus began the final phase of its mission, in which the periapsis was held between 150 and 250 km until the fuel ran out and atmospheric entry destroyed the spacecraft. With a planned primary mission duration of only eight months, the spacecraft remained in operation until October 8, 1992 when it finally burned up in Venus' atmosphere after running out of propellant.


1978 June 29 - . 22:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Comstar 3 - . Payload: Comstar 1C. Mass: 1,520 kg (3,350 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Comsat. Program: Comstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. Completed Operations Date: 1986-05-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 10975 . COSPAR: 1978-068A. Apogee: 36,172 km (22,476 mi). Perigee: 36,007 km (22,373 mi). Inclination: 11.5000 deg. Period: 1,451.60 min.

    US domestic telephone service. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 87 deg W in 1978-1984 over the Americas at 76 deg W in 1984-1986 As of 1 September 2001 located at 101.79 deg W drifting at 3.884 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 4 located at 39.19E drifting at 3.878W degrees per day.


1978 August 8 - . 07:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Pioneer Venus 2 - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 2. Mass: 904 kg (1,992 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 13. Decay Date: 1978-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 11001 . COSPAR: 1978-078A.

    The Pioneer Venus Multiprobe consisted of a bus which carried one large and three small `atmospheric probes. The large probe was released on November 16, 1978 and the three small probes on November 20. All four probes entered the Venus atmosphere on December 9, followed by the bus. The small probes were each targeted at different parts of the planet and were named accordingly. The North probe entered the atmosphere at about 60 degrees north latitude on the day side. The night probe entered on the night side. The day probe entered well into the day side, and was the only one of the four probes which continued to send radio signals back after impact, for over an hour. With no heat shield or parachute, the bus survived and made measurements only to about 110 km altitude before burning up. It afforded the only direct view of the upper Venus atmosphere, as the probes did not begin making direct measurements until they had decelerated lower in the atmosphere.

  • Pioneer Venus Probe 4 - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 2. Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 13. Decay Date: 1978-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 12106 . COSPAR: 1978-078G.
  • Pioneer Venus Probe 3 - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 2. Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 13. Decay Date: 1978-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 12105 . COSPAR: 1978-078F.
  • Pioneer Venus Probe 1 - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 2. Mass: 315 kg (694 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 13. Decay Date: 1978-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 12103 . COSPAR: 1978-078D.
  • Pioneer Venus Probe 2 - . Payload: Pioneer-Venus 2. Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 13. Decay Date: 1978-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 12104 . COSPAR: 1978-078E.

1978 November 13 - . 05:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 2 - . Payload: HEAO B. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1982-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 11101 . COSPAR: 1978-103A. Apogee: 548 km (340 mi). Perigee: 526 km (326 mi). Inclination: 23.5000 deg. Period: 95.40 min. High Energy Astronomy Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1979 May 4 - . 18:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Fltsatcom 2 - . Mass: 1,884 kg (4,153 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Fltsatcom. Completed Operations Date: 1992-02-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 11353 . COSPAR: 1979-038A. Apogee: 36,331 km (22,574 mi). Perigee: 36,227 km (22,510 mi). Inclination: 13.5000 deg. Period: 1,461.30 min.

    The second FLTSATCOM satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on board an Atlas/Centaur booster. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 23 deg W in 1979-1980; 72 deg E in 1980-1992 As of 5 September 2001 located at 90.48 deg W drifting at 6.234 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 12.01W drifting at 6.223W degrees per day.


1979 September 20 - . 05:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 3 - . Payload: HEAO C. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1981-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 11532 . COSPAR: 1979-082A. Apogee: 503 km (312 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 43.6000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. High Energy Astronomy Observatory; cosmic, gamma ray measurements. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1980 January 18 - . 01:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Fltsatcom 3 - . Mass: 1,884 kg (4,153 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Fltsatcom. Completed Operations Date: 1991-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 11669 . COSPAR: 1980-004A. Apogee: 35,851 km (22,276 mi). Perigee: 35,669 km (22,163 mi). Inclination: 9.1000 deg. Period: 1,434.80 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 22 deg W in 1980-1990 As of 28 August 2001 located at 174.83 deg W drifting at 0.082 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 84.20W drifting at 0.376E degrees per day.


1980 October 31 - . 03:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Fltsatcom 4 - . Mass: 1,800 kg (3,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Fltsatcom. USAF Sat Cat: 12046 . COSPAR: 1980-087A. Apogee: 35,803 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 9.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 171 deg E from 1981. Last known longitude (25 July 1999) 172.61 deg E drifting at 0.001 deg W per day.


1980 December 6 - . 23:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-2 - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. Completed Operations Date: 1998-04-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 12089 . COSPAR: 1980-098A. Apogee: 36,242 km (22,519 mi). Perigee: 36,118 km (22,442 mi). Inclination: 9.7000 deg. Period: 1,456.20 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 21 deg W in 1981; 27 deg W in 1981-1983; 34 deg W in 1983-1985; 27 deg W in 1985; 1 deg W in 1985-1989; 21 deg W in 1989-1994; 40 deg W in 1994-1998 As of 2 September 2001 located at 103.82 deg W drifting at 5.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 81.84W drifting at 5.000W degrees per day.


1981 February 21 - . 23:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Comstar 4 - . Payload: Comstar 1D. Mass: 1,520 kg (3,350 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Comsat. Program: Comstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 312 / HS 351 / HS 353. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 12309 . COSPAR: 1981-018A. Apogee: 35,792 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 7.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 142 deg W in 1981; 127 deg W in 1981-1985; 76 deg W in 1985-on. As of 31 August 2001 located at 25.65 deg W drifting at 1.067 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 78.95E drifting at 0.039W degrees per day.


1981 May 23 - . 22:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-1 - . Payload: Intelsat 501. Mass: 1,928 kg (4,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. Completed Operations Date: 1997-02-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 12474 . COSPAR: 1981-050A. Apogee: 36,224 km (22,508 mi). Perigee: 36,151 km (22,463 mi). Inclination: 10.1000 deg. Period: 1,456.60 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 24 deg W in 1981; 60 deg E in 1982-1984; 57 deg E in 1984-1986; 174 deg E in 1986-1988; 177 deg E in 1988-1990; 177 deg W in 1990-1992; 91 deg E in 1993-1996; 72 deg E in 1996-1997 As of 4 September 2001 located at 169.69 deg W drifting at 5.095 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 13.28E drifting at 5.096W degrees per day.


1981 August 6 - . 08:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur. FAILURE: Failure of the fiberglass fairing during ascent.. Failed Stage: S.
  • Fltsatcom 5 - . Mass: 1,884 kg (4,153 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Fltsatcom. Completed Operations Date: 1986-07-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 12635 . COSPAR: 1981-073A. Apogee: 36,300 km (22,500 mi). Perigee: 36,221 km (22,506 mi). Inclination: 8.9000 deg. Period: 1,460.40 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The Atlas G Centaur delivered a badly damaged but operating FLTSATCOM spacecraft to its correct orbit. Investigation showed that the most likely cause was failure of the fiberglass fairing during ascent. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 90 deg W in 1981; 90-114 deg W in 1982; 44 deg W in 1982-1986 As of 5 September 2001 located at 140.32 deg W drifting at 6.003 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 31.85E drifting at 6.002W degrees per day.


1981 December 15 - . 23:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-3 - . Mass: 1,870 kg (4,120 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. Completed Operations Date: 1998-01-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 12994 . COSPAR: 1981-119A. Apogee: 36,129 km (22,449 mi). Perigee: 35,894 km (22,303 mi). Inclination: 9.4000 deg. Period: 1,447.60 min.

    Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 24 deg W in 1982-1985; 27 deg W in 1985; 53 deg W in 1985-1988; 174 deg E in 1988-1990; 177 deg E in 1990-1992; 177 deg W in 1992-1995; 157 deg E in 1995-1998 As of 5 September 2001 located at 57.52 deg W drifting at 2.890 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 101.94W drifting at 2.904W degrees per day.


1982 March 5 - . 00:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-4 - . Mass: 1,928 kg (4,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. Completed Operations Date: 1995-11-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 13083 . COSPAR: 1982-017A. Apogee: 36,243 km (22,520 mi). Perigee: 35,920 km (22,310 mi). Inclination: 9.4000 deg. Period: 1,451.20 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 32 deg E in 1982; 63 deg E in 1982; 27 deg W in 1983-1985; 34 deg W in 1985-1992; 40 deg W in 1992; 31 deg W in 1993-1995; 29 deg W in 1995 As of 1 September 2001 located at 4.64 deg W drifting at 3.747 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 7 located at 4.34W drifting at 3.748W degrees per day.


1982 September 28 - . 23:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-5 - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. USAF Sat Cat: 13595 . COSPAR: 1982-097A. Apogee: 36,404 km (22,620 mi). Perigee: 36,228 km (22,510 mi). Inclination: 9.0000 deg. Period: 1,463.30 min.

    Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 63 deg E in 1982-1990; 66 deg E in 1991-1996; 33 deg E in 1996; 72 deg E in 1997-on. As of 3 September 2001 located at 16.28 deg E drifting at 6.707 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 163.88W drifting at 6.709W degrees per day.


1983 May 19 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • Intelsat 5 F-6 - . Mass: 1,928 kg (4,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5. Completed Operations Date: 1998-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 14077 . COSPAR: 1983-047A. Apogee: 36,125 km (22,446 mi). Perigee: 36,076 km (22,416 mi). Inclination: 8.3000 deg. Period: 1,452.10 min.

    Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 29 deg E in 1983; 18 deg W in 1983-1992; 34 deg W in 1992; 50 deg W in 1992-1995; 31 deg W in 1995-1998 As of 4 September 2001 located at 47.96 deg E drifting at 3.999 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 62.15W drifting at 3.995W degrees per day.



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