Encyclopedia Astronautica
Commercial Titan 3


American orbital launch vehicle. Commercial version of Titan 34D military booster. It differed in having a lengthened second stage and a 4 m diameter payload shroud to handle shuttle-class or Ariane-type dual payloads.

The design originated as the losing Martin submission for the USAF Medium Launch Vehicle competition (which was awarded to Douglas for their Delta 7000 series in January 1987). However commercial buyers had already booked flights on the booster in September 1986. Availability was however restricted due to renovaton of Cape Canaveral pad 40 from July 1990 to 1992.

LEO Payload: 14,515 kg (32,000 lb). Payload: 1,850 kg (4,070 lb) to a GTO. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1990-03-14. Last Fail Date: 1990-03-14. Launch Price $: 136.600 million in 1992 dollars.

Gross mass: 680,000 kg (1,490,000 lb).
Payload: 14,515 kg (32,000 lb).
Height: 47.30 m (155.10 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Span: 9.20 m (30.10 ft).
Thrust: 12,450.00 kN (2,798,870 lbf).
Apogee: 40,000 km (24,000 mi).
First Launch: 1990.01.01.
Last Launch: 1992.09.25.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • ECS/OTS European communications satellite. 20 launches, 1977.09.13 (OTS 1) to 2001.02.07 (Skynet 4F). More...
  • HS 393 American communications satellite. 7 launches, 1989.03.06 (JCSAT 1) to 1991.10.29 (Intelsat 6A F-1). Domestic communication. Launching states: Japan, France, USA. At the time, these were the largest commercial spacecraft ever built. More...
  • Mars Observer American Mars orbiter. One launch, 1992.09.25. Mars Observer was a NASA mission to study the surface, atmosphere, interior and magnetic field of Mars from Martian orbit. More...

See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. 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
  • Intelsat Intelsat operated the world's first commercial communications satellite. It has provided the scheduled transoceanic television and voice and data communications service ever since. More...
  • JCSAT Japanese domestic communications satellite network. 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 LC40 Titan launch complex. Constructed as part of the Titan Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV vehicles. More...

Associated Stages
  • IUS-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 10,841/1,134 kg. Thrust 181.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 296 seconds. More...
  • IUS-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,919/1,170 kg. Thrust 78.41 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. More...
  • Titan 3B-1 N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 139,935/7,000 kg. Thrust 2,413.19 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 302 seconds. More...
  • Titan 3B-2 N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 37,560/2,900 kg. Thrust 460.31 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds. More...
  • Titan UA1206 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 251,427/40,827 kg. Thrust 6,227.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 265 seconds. More...

Commercial Titan 3 Chronology


1990 January 1 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Commercial Titan 3. LV Configuration: Commercial Titan 3 CT-1.
  • Skynet 4A - . Payload: Skynet 4A [PAM-D2] / JCSat 2 [Orbus-7S]. Mass: 1,463 kg (3,225 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 20401 . COSPAR: 1990-001A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 5.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. British military communications; 6 deg E. Military communications. Expected life approx 7 years. Owner/operator: Ministry of Defence, Main Building, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 6 deg E in 1990; 29 deg E in 1991; 65 deg E in 1991; 34 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 34.01 deg W drifting at 0.003 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 63.46W drifting at 4.595W degrees per day.
  • JCSAT 2 - . Payload: JCSat 2 / Orbus-7S. Mass: 2,280 kg (5,020 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: JCSAT. Program: JCSAT. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 393. USAF Sat Cat: 20402 . COSPAR: 1990-001B. Apogee: 35,877 km (22,292 mi). Perigee: 35,868 km (22,287 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,440.50 min. Japanese domestic communications; 154 deg E. Domestic communications. Launching organization Martin Marietta. Launch time 0007 GMT. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 154 deg E in 1990-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 154.04 deg E drifting at 0.006 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 116.78W drifting at 6.255W degrees per day.

1990 March 14 - . 11:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Commercial Titan 3. LV Configuration: Commercial Titan 3 CT-2. FAILURE: Second stage failed to separate due to a wiring error in the stage separation electronics, stranding the payload in low earth orbit.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Intelsat 6 F-3 - . Payload: Intelsat 603 / Orbus-21S. Mass: 4,215 kg (9,292 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 393. USAF Sat Cat: 20523 . COSPAR: 1990-021A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. 38 C-band and 10 Ku-band transponders. Placed in unusable low earth orbit after second stage separation failure. In May 1992 shuttle STS-49 snared the satellite, and in three EVA's the crew attached a new perigee boost motor, which then reboosted the satellite to geosynchrounous orbit. Positioned at 34 deg W in 1992-1997; 24 deg W in 1997-2001. Later assigned to Intelsat spin-off New Skies, which positioned it at 340 East, from where it provided C-band coverage of the entire Atlantic region, including virtually all of Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the eastern half of North America. As an inclined orbit satellite, IS-603 was best suited for voice/data trunking and video contribution, but could also be used for carrier-scale IP services, notably network bridging and expansion. It supplemented the prime Atlantic region coverage provided by the station-kept NSS 7 satellite, located at 338 East. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 19.96W drifting at 0.012W degrees per day.

1990 June 23 - . 11:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Commercial Titan 3. LV Configuration: Commercial Titan 3 CT-3.
  • Intelsat 6 F-4 - . Payload: Intelsat 604 / Orbus-21S. Mass: 4,215 kg (9,292 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 393. USAF Sat Cat: 20667 . COSPAR: 1990-056A. Apogee: 35,792 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. International communications; 63 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 38 deg W in 1990; 27 deg W in 1990-1992; 60 deg E in 1992-1999 As of 3 September 2001 located at 60.04 deg E drifting at 0.000 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 61.81E drifting at 6.628W degrees per day.

1992 September 25 - . 17:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Commercial Titan 3. LV Configuration: Commercial Titan 3 CT-4.
  • Mars Observer - . Payload: Mars Observer [TOS-21H]. Mass: 2,573 kg (5,672 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Mars Observer. USAF Sat Cat: 22136 . COSPAR: 1992-063A. Summary: Planned Mars orbiter; lost contact during orbit insertion burn. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

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