Atlas SLV-3

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Atlas SLV-3
Function Expendable launch system
Sounding rocket
Manufacturer Convair
General Dynamics
Country of origin United States
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites SLC-3E, Vandenberg
LC-14, Cape Canaveral
Total launches 5
Successes 3
Failures 2
First flight 1 June 1966
Last flight 16 August 1968

The Atlas SLV-3, or SLV-3 Atlas was an American expendable launch system derived from the SM-65 Atlas / SM-65D Atlas missile. It was a member of the Atlas family of rockets.

The Atlas SLV-3 was a stage and a half rocket, built as a standardised replacement for earlier Atlas launch systems, which had been derived from the various Atlas missiles.[1]


The following versions of the launch system were produced.[2][3]


ATDA atop an Atlas-SLV3 launch vehicle

It is most well known for launching the Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA). The launch was conducted on 1 June 1966, and was the first flight of the Atlas SLV-3 as an independent vehicle.[4] The rocket was also used for three suborbital tests of X-23 Prime re-entry vehicles.

A Burner II upper stage could be used to increase payload.[5] The Atlas SLV-3 was also used as the first stage of several Atlas-Agena and Atlas-Centaur variants.

  • Thrust(pounds): 388
  • Booster ISP: 252.5
  • Sustainer ISP: 214.2
  • Vernier ISP: 190.9/237.7
  • Main impulse propellants (pounds): 246,549
  • Launch weight (pounds): 260,928
  • Booster jettison weight (pounds): 7,368
  • Sustainer jettison weight (pounds): 6,569




Mariner 7 launch by an Atlas-SLV3C


Atlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1A rocket which launching Mariner 10


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