Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas 3B DEC


American orbital launch vehicle.

Status: Retired 2002.
First Launch: 2002.02.21.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • LM 700 American communications satellite. 98 launches, 1997.05.05 (Iridium 8) to 2002.06.20 (Iridium SV98 ). The LM 700 had its first use in the Iridium system, a commercial communications network comprised of a minimum of 66 LEO spacecraft. More...

See also
  • Atlas V The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

Associated Programs
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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC36B Atlas V, Atlas launch complex. Atlas Centaur launch pad, in service from 1964 until the retirement of the launch vehicle. More...

Associated Stages
  • Atlas IIIA Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 195,628/13,725 kg. Thrust 4,148.72 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 337 seconds. The American Atlas booster and sustainer engine arrangement was replaced by derivatives of Glushko engines developed for the Ukrainian Zenit launch vehicle. Not capable of single stage to single stage to orbit capability (an Internet spaceflight urban myth). More...
  • Centaur V2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 23,050/2,250 kg. Thrust 198.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 451 seconds. Dual-engine Centaur for Atlas V. For heavy payload, low earth orbit missions, Centaur will use two RL10 engines to maximize boost phase mission performance. More...

Atlas 3B DEC Chronology


2002 February 21 - . 12:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. Launch Pad: SLC36B. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas 3B DEC. LV Configuration: Atlas 3B-DEC AC-204.
  • Echostar 7 - . Mass: 690 kg (1,520 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: PanAmSat. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Echostar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. USAF Sat Cat: 27378 . COSPAR: 2002-006A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Direct Broasdcasting satellite. The first launch of the Atlas 3B, with the Common Centaur stretched two-engine upper stage. Launch delayed from December 19, 2001 and January 22. The Echostar 7 communications satellite was placed into geostationary transfer orbit. The first burn of the Centaur put the stack into a 185 x 193 km x 28.1 deg parking orbit. At 1305 UTC the Centaur burned again to achieve the final 245 x 57060 km x 22.6 deg transfer orbit and separated from Echostar. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 118.92W drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

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