Athena I

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Athena I
Athena 1 rocket launching from Kodiak Island.jpg
Launch of an Athena I on the Kodiak Star mission.
Function Small expendable launch system
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Alliant Techsystems
Country of origin  United States
Size
Height 18.9 metres (62 ft)
Diameter 2.36 metres (7 ft 9 in)
Mass 66,300 kilograms (146,200 lb)
Stages Three
Capacity
Payload to
LEO
820 kilograms (1,810 lb)
Payload to
SSO
360 kilograms (790 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Athena
Derivatives Athena II
Comparable Falcon 1
Minotaur IV
Taurus
Launch history
Status Temporarily inactive
Launch sites Kodiak LP-1
MARS LP-0B
Spaceport Florida LC-46
Vandenberg SLC-6 & SLC-8
Total launches 4
Successes 3
Failures 1
First flight Athena I: 15 August 1995
Athena Ic: 2012
Last flight Athena I: 30 September 2001
First Stage - Castor 120
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 1,900 kilonewtons (430,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 280 sec
Burn time 83 seconds
Fuel HTPB
Second Stage (Athena I) - Orbus 21D
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 189.2 kilonewtons (42,500 lbf)
Specific impulse 293 sec
Burn time 150 seconds
Fuel HTPB
Second Stage (Athena Ic) - Castor 30
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 258.9 kilonewtons (58,200 lbf)[1]
Specific impulse 294 sec[2]
Burn time 143 seconds[2]
Fuel HTPB
Third Stage - OAM
Engines 4 MR-107
Thrust 882 newtons (198 lbf)
Specific impulse 222 sec
Burn time 1,500 seconds
Fuel Hydrazine

The Athena I, known as the Lockheed Launch Vehicle (LLV) at the time of its first flight and Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV) at the time of its second flight,[3] is an American small expendable launch system which was used for four launches between 1995 and 2001, and which is scheduled to return to service in 2012. It is a member of the Athena family of rockets, along with the larger Athena II. Launches from 2012 will use the Athena Ic configuration, which features a different second stage.[4]

The Athena I is a three stage rocket, consisting of solid first and second stages, and a monopropellant liquid-fuelled third stage. The first stage is a Castor 120, which is also used on some versions of the Taurus rocket. An Orbus 21D motor was used as the second stage on launches up to 2001, however when it returns to service in 2012, the Castor 30, which is under development for the Taurus II,[1] will be used instead.[4] The third stage is an Orbital Adjustment Module, fuelled by hydrazine and propelled by four MR-107 engines, which is used for final insertion.[5][6]

Prior to its retirement in 2001, Athena I launches were made from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Launch Complex 46 at Spaceport Florida, and Pad 1 of the Kodiak Launch Complex. The pads at Kodiak and Canaveral will be used for Athena Ic launches, with Launch Pad 0B of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport also offered. If a launch from Vandenberg is ordered, Space Launch Complex 8 will be used instead of SLC-6, which was rebuilt as a Delta IV launch complex following the Athena's initial retirement.[7]

Four Athena I launches have been conducted, with one failure. Its maiden flight was conducted from SLC-6 at Vandenberg, and lifted off at 22:30 GMT on 15 August 1995. It was intended to place GemStar-1 into orbit, however the rocket was destroyed by the range safety officer after the failure of its thrust vectoring system resulted in a loss of control. The launch was the first from SLC-6, which had originally been built for the Titan III rocket for launches of the Manned Orbital Laboratory, and was later rebuilt for polar orbit Space Shuttle launches. Both MOL and polar Shuttle flights were cancelled before any launches were made from SLC-6. The next Athena I launch was on 23 August 1997, and successfully placed the Lewis satellite into orbit for NASA. This launch also took place from SLC-6 at Vandenberg. The third Athena I launch was from LC-46 at Spaceport Florida, and took place on 27 January 1999. The payload, ROCSAT-1, was the first satellite to be operated by the Republic of China. The fourth launch, which was conducted on 30 September 2001, was the first orbital launch to be made from Kodiak Island. Known as the Kodiak Star mission,[8] it successfully placed the Starshine 3, Picosat 9, PCSat and Sapphire satellites into orbit.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Taurus II". Orbital Sciences Corporation. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Kyle, Ed (26 March 2010). "Taurus II". Space Launch Report. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "Athena". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Lockheed Martin and ATK Announce 2nd Generation Athena Launch Vehicles". Lockheed Martin. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Athena (LLV / LMLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Wade, Mark. "OAM". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Scully, Janene (26 March 2010). "Firms team to revive Athena rocket". Lompoc Record. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Athena I Kodiak Star Launch". NASA. 10 September 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  9. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.