Encyclopedia Astronautica
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.

No Engines: 2.

Status: Retired 1995.
Gross mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,174 kg (6,997 lb).
Diameter: 4.90 m (16.00 ft).
Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,644.96 kN (369,802 lbf).
Specific impulse: 290 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 256 s.
Burn time: 120 s.
Number: 336 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • LR89-5 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 822.5 kN. Atlas E, F. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Separate turbopumps for each booster engine. Isp=290s. First flight 1960. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas E American intercontinental ballistic missile. Initial fully operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance system from Atlas F. Deployed as missiles from 1960 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used over twenty years as space launch vehicles. More...
  • CGM-16E American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM version More...
  • HGM-16F American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM version. Also CGM-16F More...
  • Atlas Agena B American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas D with improved, enlarged Agena upper stage. More...
  • Atlas F American intercontinental ballistic missile. Final operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance systems. Deployed as missiles from 1961 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used for over thirty years as space launch vehicles. More...
  • Atlas SLV-3 American orbital launch vehicle. Standardized Atlas booster with no or small solid upper stage. More...
  • SLV-3 Agena B American orbital launch vehicle. Standardized Atlas booster with Agena B upper stage. More...
  • Atlas F/SVS American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas F + 1 x Star 37E + 1 x Star 37E upper stages. More...
  • Atlas E/SVS American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas E + 1 x Star 37E + 1 x Star 37E upper stages. More...
  • Atlas E/SGS-2 American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas E + 1 x Star 48 + 1 x Star 48 upper stages. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene. More...

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