Encyclopedia Astronautica
Athena



llv2.jpg
Athena-1
Athena-1 Launch Vehicle
Credit: Lockheed Martin
Privately funded family of solid propellant satellite launch vehicles. Originally known as LMLV (Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle); LLV (Lockheed Launch Vehicle). Sales did not develop as hoped by the company after the MEO-satellite bubble burst in the 1990's.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Oscar International series of amateur radio communications satellites. Operational, first launch 1961.12.12. Launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...
  • MicroSat-70 British technology satellite. 14 launches, 1981.10.06 (Oscar 9) to 2002.11.28 (Picosat). Basic Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • GemStar American communications satellite. One launch, 1995.08.15. Global Electronic Messaging Satellite. More...
  • Lewis American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1997.08.23. Lewis was selected in the NASA SSTI (Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative) program, along with Clark, to demonstrate advanced spacecraft technologies. More...
  • ROCSAT Taiwanese earth sea satellite. 3 launches, 1999.01.27 (ROCSAT-1) to 2008.10.01 (ROCSAT 2). Taiwan's ROCSAT (Republic of China Satellites) were built for Taiwan's National Space Program Office. More...
  • Ikonos American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1999.04.27 (Ikonos 1) and 1999.09.24 (Ikonos). The first high resolution commercial imaging satellite. More...
  • Starshine American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1999.05.27 (Starshine) and 2001.09.30 (Starshine 3). The small Starshine satellite, built by NRL, was to be observed by students as part of an educational exercise. More...
  • Sapphire American technology satellite. One launch, 2001.09.30. SAPPHIRE (a US DoD-funded microsatellite) was built by Stanford University students and carried experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital camera. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Athena-3 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Planned but never flown heavier-lift version of Athena. More...
  • Athena American orbital launch vehicle. Privately funded family of solid propellant satellite launch vehicles. Originally known as LMLV (Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle); LLV (Lockheed Launch Vehicle). Sales did not develop as hoped by the company after the MEO-satellite bubble burst in the 1990's. More...
  • Athena-1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Basic version of the Athena with a Castor 120 first stage, Orbus second stage, and OAM Orbital Adjustment Module. More...
  • Athena-2 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. The Athena-2 version featured a Castor 120 first stage, Castor 120 second stage, Orbus third stage, and OAM Orbital Adjustment Module. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Kodiak In January 1998, the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation began building a commercial spaceport at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island, about 400 km south of Anchorage and 40 km southwest of the City of Kodiak. Kodiak Island was advertised as one of the best locations in the world for polar launch operations, providing a wide launch azimuth and unobstructed downrange flight path. More...

Athena Chronology


1995 August 15 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: LLV-1 DLV. FAILURE: Destroyed by range safety 160 sec into flight after failure of thrust vector control system.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • GemStar 1 (VitaSat) - . Payload: Gemstar DSS-1. Mass: 113 kg (249 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: LMSC. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: GemStar. Decay Date: 1995-08-15 . COSPAR: F950815A. Summary: Global Electronic Messaging Satellite;..

1997 August 23 - . 06:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: LMLV-1 LM-002.
  • Lewis - . Payload: SSTI/Lewis. Nation: USA. Agency: TRW; NASA. Manufacturer: Chantilly. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Lewis. Decay Date: 1997-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 24909 . COSPAR: 1997-044A. Apogee: 134 km (83 mi). Perigee: 124 km (77 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Period: 87.10 min. Summary: Reentered Sep 28.

1998 January 7 - . 02:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC46. Launch Pad: SLC46. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-2. LV Configuration: Athena-2 LM-004.
  • Lunar Prospector - . Payload: Discovery 3. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Discovery. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Lunar Prospector. Decay Date: 1999-07-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 25131 . COSPAR: 1998-001A. The Lunar Prospector was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events. Data from the 1 to 3 year mission will allow construction of a detailed map of the surface composition of the Moon, and will improve understanding of the origin, evolution, current state, and resources of the Moon. After launch, the Lunar Prospector had a 105 hour cruise to the Moon, followed by insertion into a near-circular 100 km altitude lunar polar orbit with a period of 118 minutes. The nominal mission duration was one year.

1999 January 27 - . 00:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC46. Launch Pad: SLC46. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: Athena-1 LM-006.
  • ROCSAT-1 - . Mass: 400 kg (880 lb). Nation: Taiwan. Agency: NSPO. Manufacturer: TRW. Class: Earth. Type: Seismology satellite. Spacecraft: ROCSAT. USAF Sat Cat: 25616 . COSPAR: 1999-002A. Apogee: 653 km (405 mi). Perigee: 606 km (376 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Taiwan's first satellite, with experimental communications, ocean imagery, and ionospheric studies instruments. The Primex OAM placed itself and the payload into an elliptical transfer orbit. A second OAM burn circularized the orbit, and ROCSAT separated into a 588 x 601 km x 35.0 deg orbit.

1999 April 27 - . 18:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-2. LV Configuration: Athena-2 LM-005. FAILURE: Payload shroud failed to separate four minutes after launch.. Failed Stage: S.
  • Ikonos 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ikonos. COSPAR: F990427A. Tracking stations downrange did not pick up the spacecraft. It was later determined that the rocket nose fairing failed to separate four minutes after launch. The extra mass caused the vehicle to reenter over the South Pacific on the first partial orbit. Space Imaging's Ikonos 1 was to have been the first commercial imaging satellite with a high a resolution camera.

1999 September 24 - . 18:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-2. LV Configuration: Athena-2 LM-007.
  • Ikonos - . Mass: 726 kg (1,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SpaceIm. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ikonos. USAF Sat Cat: 25919 . COSPAR: 1999-051A. Apogee: 679 km (421 mi). Perigee: 678 km (421 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.30 min. Summary: Commercial / civilian high resolution (1 metre resolution) photograhic satellite..

2001 September 30 - . 02:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: Athena-1 LM-001.
  • Starshine 3 - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: Starshine. Decay Date: 2003-01-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 26929 . COSPAR: 2001-043A. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi). Perigee: 472 km (293 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Possibly last Athena flight. Launch delayed from September 1, 18, 22, 23, 25, 28. This was the first orbital launch from Alaska's Kodiak Island launch site (Foul weather and auroral conditions had delayed the launch many times) . The Lockheed Martin Athena-1's Orbit Adjust Module's (OAM) four MR-107 hydrazine engines fired for 12 minutes to put the payloads in a 237 x 815 km transfer orbit. After a coast to apogee above East Africa, a second burn at 0337 GMT circularized the orbit. USAF Space Test Program satellites Picosat, Sapphire and PCSat were deployed into an 790 x 800 km x 67 deg orbit between 0344 and 0352 GMT; the OAM then made a perigee lowering burn to a 470 x 800 km orbit. Another burn half an orbit later put OAM in a 467 x 474 km orbit, from wish Starshine 3 was deployed. Finally, the OAM made a perigee-lowering depletion burn which left in a 215 x 403 km x 67.2 deg orbit from which would reenter in a few months.

    Starshine-3 was a 90 kg, 0.9 m geodetic sphere that was to be observed by students. The NASA satellite was basically a passive light-reflecting sphere, consisting of 1,500 student-built mirrors (polished by kindergarten and grade school students from many countries) and 31 laser "retroreflectors". A few solar cells provide enough power to send a beacon at 145.825 MHz every minute. Ham operators around the world were expected to obtain signal strengths from which the decay (due to magnetic torque) of its spin rate could be determined. The project was managed by NASA GSFC and Starshine was built by the Naval Research Laboratory.

  • Sapphire - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Lockheed. Manufacturer: Stanford. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Sapphire. USAF Sat Cat: 26932 . COSPAR: 2001-043D. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi). Perigee: 790 km (490 mi). Inclination: 67.1000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Summary: SAPPHIRE (a US DoD-funded microsatellite) was built by Stanford University students and carried experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital camera. The satellite was about 0.5m in size and had a mass of 16 kg..
  • Picosat - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Surrey. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: MicroSat-70. USAF Sat Cat: 26930 . COSPAR: 2001-043B. Apogee: 795 km (493 mi). Perigee: 788 km (489 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. STP P97-1 Picosat was built by Surrey Satellite for the USAF using a Uosat-type bus. The 68 kg satellite was to test electronic components/systems in space conditions. It carried four test payloads: Polymer Battery Experiment (PBEX), Ionospheric Occultation Experiment (IOX), Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomagraphy (CERTO) and an ultra-quiet platform (OPPEX). Called Picosat 9 by some Agencies although not related to other satellites in that series.
  • PCSat - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 26931 . COSPAR: 2001-043C. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi). Perigee: 789 km (490 mi). Inclination: 67.0000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. PCSat (Prototype Communications SATellite) was to act as a relay for UHF/VHF amateur radio transmissions. It was built by the midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. It was to augment the existing worldwide Amateur Radio Automatic Position Reporting System; mass was around 10 kg.

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