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 Kennedy 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.


This was 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.

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 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.