AS-104 (spacecraft)

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Saturn SA8 launch.jpg
Launch of Saturn AS-104
Mission type Spacecraft aerodynamics;
micrometeroid investigation
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1965-039B
SATCAT № 1385
Mission duration 5,275 days[citation needed]
Distance travelled 3,282,050,195 kilometers (2.039371443×109 mi)
Orbits completed ~79,790
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Apollo BP-26
Pegasus 2
Launch mass 1,451.5 kilograms (3,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date May 25, 1965, 07:35:01 (1965-05-25UTC07:35:01Z) UTC
Rocket Saturn I SA-8
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-37B
End of mission
Decay date July 8, 1989 (1989-07-09)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth orbit
Perigee 511 kilometers (318 mi)
Apogee 739 kilometers (459 mi)
Inclination 31.7 degrees
Period 97.2 minutes
Epoch 4 July 1965[1]

Apollo program
← AS-103 AS-105

AS-104 was the fourth orbital test of a boilerplate Apollo spacecraft, and the second flight of the Pegasus micrometeroid detection satellite. It was launched by SA-8, the ninth Saturn I carrier rocket.


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 AS-103.

The Saturn launch vehicle (SA-8) and payload were similar to those of mission AS-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 AS-101 mission in that two of the four engines were of a prototype configuration instead of all engines being simulated.


AS-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.


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.