Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas H



atlashi.jpg
Atlas H / Atlas I
Atlas I. Atlas H was similar but with smaller-diameter fairing.
Credit: © Mark Wade
American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas H used the Atlas first stage developed for the Atlas G vehicle. It was flown without the Centaur upper stage.

The Atlas H vehicles 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.

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.

LEO Payload: 3,630 kg (8,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit. Payload: 2,255 kg (4,971 lb) to a GTO. Launch Price $: 50.000 million in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 50.000 million in 1994 dollars.

Stage Data - Atlas H

  • 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 G/H/I. Gross Mass: 142,536 kg (314,238 lb). Empty Mass: 4,236 kg (9,338 lb). Thrust (vac): 386.300 kN (86,844 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 266 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-105-7. Status: In Production.

Gross mass: 150,540 kg (331,880 lb).
Payload: 3,630 kg (8,000 lb).
Height: 27.00 m (88.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,939.30 kN (435,972 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 1983.02.09.
Last Launch: 1987.05.15.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • NOSS American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 22 launches, 1971.12.14 (OPS 7898 P/L 1) to 1993.08.02 (TLD). Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE. More...
  • NOSS-Subsat American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 27 launches, 1976.04.30 (SSU 1 (NOSS 1)) to 1996.05.12 (USA 121). Detected the location of naval vessels using radio interferometry. More...
  • LIPS American tether technology satellite. 3 launches, 1980.12.09 (LIPS 1) to 1987.05.15 (LIPS 3). More...

Associated Engines
  • LR105-7 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 386.4 kN. Atlas space launchers. Out of production. Atlas Sustainer. Gas generator, pump-fed. Evolved from MA-2 ICBM system. Isp=316s. First flight 1963. More...
  • LR89-7 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 948 kN. Atlas space launchers. Out of production. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Shared turbopumps for booster engines. Evolved from MA-2 ICBM system. Isp=294s. First flight 1963. More...

See also
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Convair American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Convair, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...
  • Vandenberg SLC3E Atlas V, Atlas launch complex. Atlas test facility, originally designated PALC1-2, then LC1-2, and finally upgraded to a Space Launch Facility in 1966. More...

Associated Stages
  • Atlas G/H/I Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 142,536/4,236 kg. Thrust 386.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds. More...
  • Atlas MA-5 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,646/3,646 kg. Thrust 1,896.01 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 294 seconds. More...

Atlas H Chronology


1983 February 9 - . 13:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6001H.
  • NOSS 4 - . Payload: PARCAE 5 / OPS 0252. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 13791 . COSPAR: 1983-008A. Apogee: 1,186 km (736 mi). Perigee: 1,063 km (660 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.80 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • SSA (NOSS 4) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 4-1 / OPS 0252 DEB. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13835 . COSPAR: 1983-008D. Apogee: 1,164 km (723 mi). Perigee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • SSA - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13844 . COSPAR: 1983-008E. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • SSC - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13874 . COSPAR: 1983-008H. Apogee: 1,173 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,043 km (648 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • LIPS 2 - . Payload: LIPS 2. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Spacecraft: LIPS. USAF Sat Cat: 13792 . COSPAR: 1983-008B. Apogee: 1,399 km (869 mi). Perigee: 822 km (510 mi). Inclination: 63.3000 deg. Period: 107.49 min.
  • SSD (NOSS 4) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 4-4. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13834 . COSPAR: 1983-008C. Apogee: 1,419 km (881 mi). Perigee: 796 km (494 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.42 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4. .
  • SSB - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 13845 . COSPAR: 1983-008F. Apogee: 1,489 km (925 mi). Perigee: 733 km (456 mi). Inclination: 63.3990 deg. Period: 107.42 min.

1983 June 9 - . 23:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6002H / 6002H.
  • NOSS 5 - . Payload: PARCAE 6 / OPS 6432. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 14112 . COSPAR: 1983-056A. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • GB3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14180 . COSPAR: 1983-056G. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.
  • GB2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14144 . COSPAR: 1983-056D. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 5..
  • GB1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14143 . COSPAR: 1983-056C. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 5..

1984 February 5 - . 18:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6003H / 6003H.
  • NOSS 6 - . Payload: PARCAE 7 / OPS 8737. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 14690 . COSPAR: 1984-012A. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • JD2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14729 . COSPAR: 1984-012D. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 6..
  • JD1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14728 . COSPAR: 1984-012C. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 6..
  • JD3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14795 . COSPAR: 1984-012F. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min.

1986 February 9 - . 10:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6004H / 6004H.
  • USA 15 - . Payload: PARCAE 8. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 16591 . COSPAR: 1986-014A. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • USA 18 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16631 . COSPAR: 1986-014H. Apogee: 1,407 km (874 mi). Perigee: 817 km (508 mi). Inclination: 63.4140 deg. Period: 107.44 min.
  • USA 17 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16625 . COSPAR: 1986-014F. Apogee: 1,165 km (723 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.
  • USA 16 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16624 . COSPAR: 1986-014E. Apogee: 1,161 km (721 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.

1987 May 15 - . 15:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6005H.
  • USA 22 - . Payload: PARCAE 9. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 17997 . COSPAR: 1987-043A. Apogee: 1,179 km (732 mi). Perigee: 1,045 km (649 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 107.80 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • LIPS 3 - . Payload: LIPS 3. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Spacecraft: LIPS. USAF Sat Cat: 18007 . COSPAR: 1987-043C. Apogee: 1,316 km (817 mi). Perigee: 899 km (558 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.42 min.
  • USA 25 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18025 . COSPAR: 1987-043H. Apogee: 1,178 km (731 mi). Perigee: 1,035 km (643 mi). Inclination: 62.6000 deg. Period: 107.60 min.
  • USA 24 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18010 . COSPAR: 1987-043F. Apogee: 1,184 km (735 mi). Perigee: 1,046 km (649 mi). Inclination: 63.2000 deg. Period: 107.90 min.
  • USA 23 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18009 . COSPAR: 1987-043E. Apogee: 1,170 km (720 mi). Perigee: 1,039 km (645 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.30 min.

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