Encyclopedia Astronautica
Scout X-3



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Scout X3
Scout X3 - COSPAR 1964-015
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Scout
Credit: © Mark Wade
American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2A + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Altair

LEO Payload: 87 kg (191 lb) to a 185 km orbit. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1963-04-05. Last Fail Date: 1963-04-05 in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 8.910 million.

Stage Data - Scout X-3

  • Stage 1. 1 x Algol 2. Gross Mass: 11,600 kg (25,500 lb). Empty Mass: 1,650 kg (3,630 lb). Thrust (vac): 564.245 kN (126,847 lbf). Isp: 255 sec. Burn time: 47 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 1.01 m (3.31 ft). Span: 1.01 m (3.31 ft). Length: 9.09 m (29.82 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Algol 2. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Castor 1. Gross Mass: 3,852 kg (8,492 lb). Empty Mass: 535 kg (1,179 lb). Thrust (vac): 286.001 kN (64,296 lbf). Isp: 247 sec. Burn time: 27 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Span: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Length: 5.92 m (19.42 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: M33-20-4. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Antares 2. Gross Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Empty Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Thrust (vac): 93.094 kN (20,928 lbf). Isp: 293 sec. Burn time: 36 sec. Isp(sl): 233 sec. Diameter: 0.78 m (2.55 ft). Span: 0.78 m (2.55 ft). Length: 2.90 m (9.50 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: X-259. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 4. 1 x Altair 1A. Gross Mass: 390 kg (850 lb). Empty Mass: 181 kg (399 lb). Thrust (vac): 13.788 kN (3,100 lbf). Isp: 255 sec. Burn time: 40 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft). Span: 0.46 m (1.50 ft). Length: 2.50 m (8.20 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: X-248A. Status: Out of Production.

Gross mass: 17,350 kg (38,250 lb).
Payload: 87 kg (191 lb).
Height: 24.00 m (78.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.01 m (3.31 ft).
Thrust: 513.40 kN (115,417 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 1962.12.16.
Last Launch: 1964.03.27.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Transit American navigation satellite. 46 launches, 1959.09.17 (Transit 1A) to 1988.08.25 (Transit O-31). The Transit Navigation System began development in 1958. More...
  • S-55 American earth micrometeoroid satellite. 4 launches, 1961.06.30 (Explorer (13) S 55) to 1964.11.06 (Explorer 23). Micrometeoroid research. More...
  • Ariel American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1962.04.26 (Ariel 1) to 1979.06.02 (Ariel 6). Ionospheric studies; returned X-ray, ionospheric, cosmic ray data. More...
  • Program 35 American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1962.05.24 (P 35-1) to 1963.09.27 (P 35-1). First US weather satellite, classified for many years. Predecessor to the DMSP series of military satellites. More...

Associated Engines
  • Algol 2 CSD solid rocket engine. 564.2 kN. Isp=255s. Used on Scout A, Scout B, Scout X-3, Scout X-4; proposed as strap-on for Titan 3BAS2. First flight 1962. More...
  • M33-20-4 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 286 kN. Isp=247s. Used as apogee kick motor on Delta D, LT Thor Agena D, Scout X-1, Scout X-2, Scout X-3, Scout X-4, TA Thor Agena B, TA Thor Agena D. First flight 1960. More...
  • X-248A Thiokol solid rocket engine. 13.8 kN. Isp=255s. Used on Scout X-1, Scout X-2, Scout X-3. First flight 1960. More...
  • X-259 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 93.1 kN. Isp=293s. Used on Scout A, Scout B, Scout D, Scout F, Scout X-2, Scout X-3, Scout X-4. First flight 1962. More...

See also
  • Scout Solid-fuel, light payload, lower-cost launch vehicle developed by the Air Force and NASA in the late 1950's and used in a variety of configurations over thirty years. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Wallops Island, and from Italy's equatorial San Marco platform off Kenya. Italy studied but did not develop subsequent upgraded versions. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Vought American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Vought, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Explorer Series of satellites launched by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the exploration of the space environment (micrometeoroids, charged particles, radiation, etc) from both earth orbital and heliocentric orbital locations. More...
  • Transit Spin-stabilized Transit satellites were developed by the US Navy into the first operational navigation satellite system, for use by ballistic missile submarines and surface vessels. Early Transits carried a variety of piggy-back payloads, many still classified. Transit was also known as the Navy Navigation Satellite (NNS). Transit provided continuous navigation satellite service from 1964, initially for Polaris submarines and later for civilian use. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. 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...
  • Vandenberg SLC5 Scout launch complex. Dedicated Scout launch pad, used during the life of that vehicle from 1962 to 1994. More...

Associated Stages
  • Algol 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 11,600/1,650 kg. Thrust 564.25 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 255 seconds. More...
  • Altair 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 238/30 kg. Thrust 12.45 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 256 seconds. More...
  • Antares 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,400/300 kg. Thrust 93.09 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 293 seconds. More...
  • Castor 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,852/535 kg. Thrust 286.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 247 seconds. More...

Scout X-3 Chronology


1962 December 16 - . 14:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S115.
  • Explorer 16 - . Payload: S-55B. Mass: 100 kg (220 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. USAF Sat Cat: 506 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Chi-1. Apogee: 1,159 km (720 mi). Perigee: 744 km (462 mi). Inclination: 52.0000 deg. Period: 104.10 min. Summary: Micrometeoroid data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 December 19 - . 01:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S118.
  • Transit 5A - . Payload: Transit 5A-1. Mass: 61 kg (134 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1986-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 509 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Psi-1. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 336 km (208 mi). Inclination: 90.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Summary: First operational solar-powered prototype; failed first day. The satellite verified a new technique for deploying the solar panels and for separating from the rocket, but otherwise it was not successful because of trouble with the power system..

1963 April 5 - . 03:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S119. FAILURE: Failure.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Transit 5A-2 - . Payload: Transit 5A-2. Mass: 84 kg (185 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1963-04-05 . COSPAR: F630405A. Summary: Replacement for the failed Transit 5A; failed to reach orbit..

1963 May 22 - . 04:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S116.
  • RFD-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1963 June 16 - . 01:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S120.
  • Transit 5A-3 - . Payload: Transit 5A-3. Mass: 55 kg (121 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1990-08-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 594 . COSPAR: 1963-022A. Apogee: 360 km (220 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 91.60 min. First operational prototype with a redesigned power supply. A malfunction of the memory occurred during powered flight that kept it from accepting and storing navigation messages, and the oscillator stability was degraded during launch. The satellite could not be used for navigation, but it was the first to achieve gravity-gradient stabilization, and its other subsystems performed well.

1964 March 27 - . 17:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S127R.
  • Ariel 2 - . Payload: UK 2 (UK-C). Mass: 68 kg (149 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: DSIR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1967-11-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 771 . COSPAR: 1964-015A. Apogee: 1,349 km (838 mi). Perigee: 287 km (178 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

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