|Mission type||Test flight|
|Mission duration||5,275 days|
|Distance travelled||3,282,050,195 kilometers (2.039371443×109 mi)|
|Launch mass||1,451.5 kilograms (3,200 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||May 25, 1965, 07:35:01UTC|
|Rocket||Saturn I SA-8|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral LC-37B|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||July 8, 1989|
|Perigee||511 kilometers (318 mi)|
|Apogee||739 kilometers (459 mi)|
|Epoch||4 July 1965|
The primary mission objective was to demonstrate the launch vehicle iterative guidance mode and evaluation of system accuracy. The launch trajectory was similar to that of mission A-103.
The Saturn launch vehicle (SA-8) and payload were similar to those of mission A-103 except that a single reaction control engine assembly was mounted on the boilerplate service module (BP-26) and the assembly was instrumented to acquire additional data on launch environment temperatures. This assembly also differed from the one on the A-101 mission in that two of the four engines were of a prototype configuration instead of all engines being simulated.
A-104 was launched from Cape Kennedy Launch Complex 37B at 02:35:01 a.m. EST (07:35:01 GMT) on May 25. 1965, the first nighttime launch in the Saturn I series. A built-in 35 minute hold was used to ensure that launch time coincided with the opening of the launch window.
The launch was normal and the payload was inserted into orbit approximately 10.6 minutes after lift-off. The total mass placed in orbit, including the spacecraft, Pegasus B, adapter, instrument unit, and S-IV stage, was 34,113 pounds (15,473 kg). The perigee and apogee were 314.0 and 464.1 miles (505 and 747 km), respectively; the orbital inclination was 31.78'. The 1397 kilogram (3080-pound) Pegasus 2 satellite was also carried to orbit by SA-8, being stowed inside the boilerplate's service module, and remaining attached to the S-IV stage.
The actual trajectory was close to the one predicted, and the spacecraft was separated 806 seconds after lift-off. Several minor malfunctions occurred in the S-I stage propulsion system; however, all mission objectives were achieved.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saturn-Apollo 8.|
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- NSSDC: SA-8
- SA-8 Operational Trajectory
- Manned space flight network performance analysis for the SA-8 mission
- SA-8 flight test data report