Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas Agena D SLV-3A



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SLV-3A Agena D
SLV-3A Agena D OGO 5 - COSPAR 1968-014
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SLV-3A Agena D
SLV-3A Agena D OGO 5 - COSPAR 1968-014
Uprated Atlas booster with Agena D upper stage.

LEO Payload: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Payload: 700 kg (1,540 lb) to a GEO. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1971-12-04. Last Fail Date: 1971-12-04.

Stage Data - Atlas / Agena D SLV-3A

  • 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 Agena SLV-3A. Gross Mass: 142,000 kg (313,000 lb). Empty Mass: 3,700 kg (8,100 lb). Thrust (vac): 386.300 kN (86,844 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 175 sec. Isp(sl): 220 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 20.67 m (67.81 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: LR-105-7. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Agena D. Gross Mass: 6,821 kg (15,037 lb). Empty Mass: 673 kg (1,483 lb). Thrust (vac): 71.166 kN (15,999 lbf). Isp: 300 sec. Burn time: 265 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 1.52 m (4.98 ft). Span: 1.52 m (4.98 ft). Length: 7.09 m (23.26 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: Bell 8096. Status: Out of Production. One of the real workhorses of U. S. space exploration, Agena was an upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. Agena played a key role in manned space flight; it was the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. Agena had a main rocket engine capable of multiple re-starts in space; in the modified target vehicle version it also had 2 secondary engines to provide small changes in velocity and position in orbit. In the Gemini Agena, a control system could handle 96 commands from the astronauts or from ground stations. Agena was used as an upper stage with the Thor, augmented Thor, Atlas and Titan boosters; it had played important roles in such military and NASA programs as Discoverer, Samos, Mariner, OGO, Lunar Orbiter, Ranger and Orbiting Astronomical Observatory.

AKA: SLV-3A.
Gross mass: 155,000 kg (341,000 lb).
Payload: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).
Height: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,700.00 kN (382,100 lbf).
First Launch: 1968.03.04.
Last Launch: 1978.04.07.
Number: 12 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • OGO American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1964.09.05 (OGO 1) to 1969.06.05 (OGO 6). More...
  • Canyon American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 7 launches, 1968.08.06 (Canyon 1) to 1977.05.23 (Canyon 7). The first large US signals intelligence satellite. More...
  • Rhyolite American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 4 launches, 1970.06.19 (Rhyolite 1) to 1978.04.07 (Rhyolite 4). 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
  • 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 LC13 Atlas launch complex. Originally built in 1958 for the Atlas ballistic missile program, Complex 13 supported 51 Atlas and Atlas/Agena launches from 1958 to 1978. More...

Associated Stages
  • Agena D Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,821/673 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. One of the real workhorses of US space exploration, Agena was a restartable upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. A mainstay of the US Air Force reconnaisance satellite program, it also boosted early NASA probes to the moon and planets. Agena played a key role in manned space flight as the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. It More...
  • Atlas Agena SLV-3A Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 142,000/3,700 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 Agena D SLV-3A Chronology


1968 March 4 - . 13:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5602A (AA26) / Agena D 6503 (AA26).
  • OGO 5 - . Payload: OGO E. Mass: 634 kg (1,397 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OGO. Decay Date: 2011-07-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3138 . COSPAR: 1968-014A. Apogee: 111,034 km (68,993 mi). Perigee: 36,021 km (22,382 mi). Inclination: 50.3000 deg. Period: 3,746.50 min. OGO 5 carried 25 experiments, 17 of which were particle studies, and two were magnetic field studies. In addition, there was one each of the following types of experiments: radio astronomy, UV spectrum, Lyman-alpha, solar X ray, plasma waves, and electric field. By April 1971, spacecraft perigee had increased to 26,400 km and inclination had increased to 54 deg. The spacecraft attitude control failed on August 6, 1971, after 41 months of normal operation. The spacecraft was placed in a standby status on October 8, 1971. Four experiments (Meyer, Blamont, Thomas, and Simpson) were reactivated for the period from June 1 to July 13, 1972, after which all operational support terminated. Spacecraft orbit parameters changed significantly over the spacecraft life.

1968 August 6 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5501A / Agena D 2801.
  • Canyon 1 - . Payload: Canyon 1 / Agena D / OPS 2222. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 3334 . COSPAR: 1968-063A. Apogee: 39,860 km (24,760 mi). Perigee: 31,680 km (19,680 mi). Inclination: 9.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. First launch in a communications intelligence program operated by the USAF within the National Reconnaissance Office, on behalf of the National Security Agency. The first generation series, CANYON, was based on the Agena vehicle. The Agena D remained attached to the spacecraft. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (30 December 1968) 98.50 deg W drifting at 0.166 deg E per day.

1969 April 13 - . 02:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5502A / Agena D 2802.
  • Canyon 2 - . Payload: Canyon 2 / Agena D / OPS 3148. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 3889 . COSPAR: 1969-036A. Apogee: 39,270 km (24,400 mi). Perigee: 32,670 km (20,300 mi). Inclination: 9.9000 deg. Period: 1,445.00 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (31 December 1969) 99.24 deg W drifting at 2.246 deg W per day..

1970 June 19 - . 11:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5201A / Agena D 1551.
  • OPS 5346 - . Payload: AFP-720 Rhyolite 1. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Rhyolite. USAF Sat Cat: 4418 . COSPAR: 1970-046A. Apogee: 33,685 km (20,930 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 28.2000 deg. Period: 588.90 min. Summary: First launch of Rhyolite geostationary ELINT satellite. Reportedly left in transfer orbit; other sources indicate a successful mission. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean..

1970 September 1 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5203A / Agena D 2803.
  • Canyon 3 - . Payload: Canyon 3 / Agena D / OPS 7329. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 4510 . COSPAR: 1970-069A. Apogee: 39,855 km (24,764 mi). Perigee: 31,947 km (19,850 mi). Inclination: 10.3000 deg. Period: 1,441.90 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (31 December 1970) 99.01 deg W drifting at 1.490 deg W per day..

1971 December 4 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5503A / Agena D 2804. FAILURE: First stage failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • AFP-827 / Canyon 4 - . Payload: Canyon 4 / Agena D. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. Decay Date: 1971-12-04 . COSPAR: F711204A.

1972 December 20 - . 22:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5204A / Agena D A 2805.
  • Canyon 5 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 9390. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 6317 . COSPAR: 1972-101A. Apogee: 40,728 km (25,307 mi). Perigee: 31,012 km (19,269 mi). Inclination: 9.7000 deg. Period: 1,440.40 min. Summary: First launch of improved ELINT satellite. In comparison to earlier Canyon ELINT satellites, Improved Canyon had a similar but heavier payload which separated from the Agena D final stage..

1973 March 6 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5202A / Agena D A 1552.
  • OPS 6063 - . Payload: AFP-720 Rhyolite 2. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Rhyolite. USAF Sat Cat: 6380 . COSPAR: 1973-013A. Apogee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,679 km (22,169 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.10 min. Summary: Second launch of Rhyolite geostationary ELINT satellite..

1975 June 18 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5506A / Agena D A 2806.
  • Canyon 6 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 4966. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 7963 . COSPAR: 1975-055A. Apogee: 40,800 km (25,300 mi). Perigee: 30,200 km (18,700 mi). Inclination: 9.0000 deg. Period: 1,422.00 min.

1977 May 23 - . 18:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5507A / Agena D A 2807.
  • Canyon 7 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 9751. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 10016 . COSPAR: 1977-038A. Apogee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,679 km (22,169 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.10 min.

1977 December 11 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5504A / Agena D A 1553.
  • OPS 4258 - . Payload: AFP-472 AQUACADE 3. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Rhyolite. USAF Sat Cat: 10508 . COSPAR: 1977-114A. Apogee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,679 km (22,169 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.10 min. Summary: Third launch of Rhyolite geostationary ELINT satellite. Code name changed to Aquacade after Rhyolite name came out in trial of spy Boyce..

1978 April 7 - . 00:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5505A / Agena D A 1554.
  • OPS 8790 - . Payload: AFP-472 AQUACADE 4. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Rhyolite. USAF Sat Cat: 10787 . COSPAR: 1978-038A. Apogee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,679 km (22,169 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.10 min. Summary: Fourth and final launch of Rhyolite geostationary ELINT satellite. Code name changed to Aquacade after Rhyolite name came out in trial of spy Boyce..

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