Titan IIIE

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Titan IIIE
Titan 3E Centaur launches Voyager 2.jpg
Launch of a Titan IIIE with Voyager 2
Function Expendable launch system
Manufacturer Martin Marietta
Country of origin  United States
Height 48 metres (157 ft)
Diameter 3.05 metres (10.0 ft)
Mass 632,970 kilograms (1,395,460 lb)
Stages 3-4
Payload to
15,400 kilograms (34,000 lb)
Payload to
Heliocentric orbit (TMI)
3,700 kilograms (8,200 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Titan
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites LC-41, Cape Canaveral
Total launches 7
Successes 6
Failures 1
First flight 11 February 1974
Last flight 5 September 1977
Notable payloads Voyager (1 / 2)
Viking (1 / 2)
Boosters (Stage 0) - UA1205
No boosters Two
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 5,849 kilonewtons (1,315,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 263 sec
Burn time 115 seconds
Fuel Solid
First Stage
Engines 2 LR87-11
Thrust 2,340 kilonewtons (530,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 302 sec
Burn time 147 seconds
Fuel A-50/N2O4
Second Stage
Engines 1 LR91-11
Thrust 454 kilonewtons (102,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 316 sec
Burn time 205 seconds
Fuel A-50/N2O4
Third Stage - Centaur-D
Engines 2 RL-10A-3
Thrust 131 kilonewtons (29,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 444 sec
Burn time 470 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX
Fourth Stage (optional) - Star-37E
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 68 kilonewtons (15,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 284 sec
Burn time 42 seconds
Fuel Solid

The Titan IIIE or Titan 3E, also known as Titan III-Centaur was an American expendable launch system, launched seven times between 1974 and 1977.[1] It was used to launch several high-profile NASA missions, including the Voyager and Viking planetary probes, and the joint West German-US Helios spacecraft.

The Titan IIIE was a three-stage rocket, derived from the Titan IIIC. The primary difference was the replacement of the hypergolic Transtage third stage with the cryogenic Centaur-D upper stage to increase performance. It was the first Titan rocket to use a Centaur upper stage, which would later be used on the Titan IV. A four stage configuration, with an additional upper stage, a Star-37E, was also available, and was used for the two Helios launches.[2] Star-37E stages were also used on the two Voyager launches, but were considered to be part of the payload rather than the rocket.[3]

All seven launches were conducted from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral.

Launch History[edit]

Date/Time (GMT) S/N Payload Outcome Remarks
Titan Centaur
11 February 1974
23E-1 TC-1 Sphinx Failure Centaur LOXturbo malfunction
10 December 1974
23E-2 TC-2 Helios-1 Successful
20 August 1975
23E-4 TC-4 Viking 1 Successful
9 September 1975
23E-3 TC-3 Viking 2 Successful
15 January 1976
23E-5 TC-5 Helios-2 Successful
20 August 1977
23E-7 TC-7 Voyager 2 Successful
5 September 1977
23E-6 TC-6 Voyager 1 Successful


Schematics of Titan IIIE with two solid rocket motors (Stage 0) and the Titan III core vehicle Stages I and II


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Titan". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Titan-3E Centaur-D1T Star-37E". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Titan-3E Centaur-D1T". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Titan IIIE at Wikimedia Commons