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|Function||Expendable launch system
|Country of origin||United States|
|Launch sites||SLC-3E, Vandenberg
LC-14, Cape Canaveral
|First flight||1 June 1966|
|Last flight||16 August 1968|
Most space launcher variants of the Atlas up to 1965 were derived from the D-series Atlas ICBM with custom modifications for the needs of the particular mission. The SLV-3 would use a standardized configuration based on the Atlas D missile for all launches with the exception of different widths for the top of the rocket depending on the upper stage being flown.
The SLV-3 had thicker gauge tank walls to support the weight of upper stages as well as upgraded engines and removal of unneeded ICBM hardware such as retrorockets. Although the main engines had greater thrust, the verniers were detuned slightly in the interest of improved ISP (vacuum specific impulse).
Variants of the SLV-3 flew until 2004 when the legacy Atlas was retired from service and replaced by the Atlas V, a completely new vehicle with conventional aircraft-style construction and different engines.
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. The rocket was also used for three suborbital tests of X-23 Prime re-entry vehicles.
- 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
- Encyclopedia Astronautica - Atlas
- "On The Shoulders of Titans - Chap. 14". Archived from the original on 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- Gunter's Space Page - Atlas-SLV3 Burner-2
- http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1966-046A Gemini 9 Target B