Encyclopedia Astronautica
SLV-3 Agena B


American orbital launch vehicle. Standardized Atlas booster with Agena B upper stage.

Payload: 600 kg (1,320 lb) to a 19,500 x 103,000 km orbit at 77.5 deg.

Stage Data - SLV-3 Atlas / Agena B

  • Stage 0. 1 x Atlas MA-3. Gross Mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb). Empty Mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,644.960 kN (369,802 lbf). Isp: 290 sec. Burn time: 120 sec. Isp(sl): 256 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-89-5. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas Agena SLV-3. Gross Mass: 117,026 kg (257,998 lb). Empty Mass: 2,326 kg (5,127 lb). Thrust (vac): 386.300 kN (86,844 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 265 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-105-5. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Agena B. Gross Mass: 7,167 kg (15,800 lb). Empty Mass: 867 kg (1,911 lb). Thrust (vac): 71.166 kN (15,999 lbf). Isp: 285 sec. Burn time: 240 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 8081. Status: Out of Production.

AKA: SLV-3.
Gross mass: 140,000 kg (300,000 lb).
Payload: 600 kg (1,320 lb).
Height: 32.10 m (105.30 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,629.00 kN (366,213 lbf).
Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi).
First Launch: 1966.06.07.
Number: 1 .

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...

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 LC12 Atlas launch complex. The complex was built for the Atlas ballistic missile program. Launch sites 11 to 14 were accepted between August 1957 and mid-April 1958. Complex 12 supported its first Atlas launch on 10 January 1958, and it supported nine Ranger missions and four Mariner missions between 12 August 1961 and 15 June 1967. Complexes 11, 12 and 14 were deactivated in 1967, and Complex 13 was deactivated in April 1978. More...

Associated Stages
  • Agena B Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 7,167/867 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 285 seconds. More...
  • Atlas Agena SLV-3 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 117,026/2,326 kg. Thrust 386.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds. More...
  • Atlas MA-3 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,174/3,174 kg. Thrust 1,644.96 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 290 seconds. More...

SLV-3 Agena B Chronology


1961 May 29 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Agena B.
  • Ranger booster erected. - . Nation: USA. Program: Ranger. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Ranger 1-2. Summary: Atlas booster 111-D, to be used for Ranger I, was erected on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral..

1966 June 7 - . 02:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Agena B. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena B 5601 (AA16) / Agena B 6502.
  • OGO 3 - . Payload: OGO B. Mass: 634 kg (1,397 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OGO. Decay Date: 1981-09-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 2195 . COSPAR: 1966-049A. Apogee: 102,806 km (63,880 mi). Perigee: 19,519 km (12,128 mi). Inclination: 77.6000 deg. Period: 2,911.50 min. Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 3. All 21 experiments returned good data. At the time, this was the largest experimental complement ever put into orbit. There were 4 cosmic ray instruments (1 of which included a gamma-ray spectrometer), 4 plasma, 2 trapped radiation, 2 magnetic fields, 5 ionosphere, 3 radio/optical, and 1 micrometeoroid detectors. OGO 3 maintained 3-axis stabilization for 46 days. At that point, an attitude controller failed and the spacecraft was put into a spin on 23 July 1966. The spin period varied from 90-125 seconds. By June 1969, data acquisition was limited to 50% of the orbital path. Routine spacecraft operation was discontinued on December 1, 1969, after which only data from Heppner's experiment (Rubidium + Fluxgate magnetometer) was acquired. By March 1971 spacecraft perigee had increased to 16,400 km and the inclination had increased to 75.8 deg. All spacecraft support terminated on February 29, 1972.

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