Author Topic: Project Atlas Reports  (Read 4273 times)

Online catdlr

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Project Atlas Reports
« on: 08/31/2017 03:46 AM »
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Aug 30, 2017

Quote
SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the first quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-13

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) Communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWXB4UkJolk?t=001

« Last Edit: 09/10/2017 11:39 PM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Danderman

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #1 on: 09/01/2017 02:18 AM »
I have yet to see any conceptual art of the early 5 engine Atlas. It seems that the Soviet SS-6 may have originally been a knockoff of the early Atlas.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #2 on: 09/01/2017 02:58 AM »
I have yet to see any conceptual art of the early 5 engine Atlas. It seems that the Soviet SS-6 may have originally been a knockoff of the early Atlas.
Here's the 1954 version.  There were even earlier concepts that looked slightly different, used different propellants, etc..



 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #3 on: 09/01/2017 01:23 PM »
I find Atlas's fuel history
There were even earlier concepts that looked slightly different, used different propellants, etc..

I find Atlas's fuel history pretty weird.  I can understand why gasoline would be attractive at first glance: it's wide availability and low cost make sense for a large missile fleet to be dispersed around the country.  And I can see why its low specific impulse and high flame temperature (and high-ish vapor pressure?) would reduce its appeal on second look.  But, when gasoline was still the expected fuel, what was the point of testing engines on kerosene, switching to alcohol for flight test before moving on to gasoline?

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #4 on: 09/01/2017 05:27 PM »
Well, Robert Goddard's first liquid-fueled rockets used gasoline as a fuel but it wasn't usable for a real working ballistic missile because of the reasons you mentioned about high operating temperatures and low SI, plus fuel vapors were dangerous and gasoline combustion left a lot of soot that would clog engine parts.

So Von Braun et al used alcohol in the V-2 (and then Redstone) as it was cleaner and safer to handle, also the water content of ethyl alcohol served as a coolant for the engine. But alcohol still didn't provide enough performance for long range missiles, so something else had to be used. In the early planning stages of the Atlas in 1951-53, they possibly thought about using gasoline, but its numerous drawbacks necessitated the development of an improved petroleum-based rocket fuel which led to RP-1 being developed in 1954.

The Soviets very quickly utilized RP-1 for the R-7, no doubt thanks to some quick espionage work (read up about Mary Sherman Morgan; info on rocket propellants wasn't exactly public domain knowledge in the '50s). Soviet RP-1 variants used slightly different formulations than the US spec and they later developed high performance variants like Sintin.

During the same time, lithium and fluorine were experimented with as rocket fuels but proved impossibly dangerous to handle and use.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2017 05:32 PM by WallE »

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #5 on: 09/02/2017 02:27 AM »
I get that gasoline isn't a great fuel.  What i don't understand is that if the Air Force at one point planned to use gasoline, why would it plan to build test vehicle burning alcohol?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #6 on: 09/02/2017 04:19 AM »
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #7 on: 09/02/2017 07:15 AM »
They probably wanted to use alcohol for testing simply because it was a proven, reliable rocket propellant. Technology advanced rapidly during the '50s, Von Braun in 1952 had estimated that a rocket the size of the Empire State Building would be needed to reach the Moon, since he didn't anticipate the improvements in lightweight materials and rocket engine performance that happened during the next few years. Hence the early plans for a five engine Atlas.

The R-7 was ridiculously big for an ICBM because Soviet manufacturing tech in the mid-1950s couldn't miniaturize nuclear warheads to the same degree as the American ones, but when it became operational at the end of the decade, this problem had been solved and in practice the R-7 was already obsolete by the time it got deployed as a missile.

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #8 on: 09/02/2017 01:23 PM »
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

OK, but why switch to alcohol for flight testing?  Why not either stay with kerosene or move on to gasoline?

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #9 on: 09/02/2017 04:06 PM »
I understand gasoline's properties, but I don't know much about kerosene. Does kerosene have problems with fumes the same way that gasoline does?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #10 on: 09/02/2017 04:42 PM »
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

OK, but why switch to alcohol for flight testing?  Why not either stay with kerosene or move on to gasoline?
Atlas propulsion was tied to development work underway for Navaho.  The Navaho program started with LOX/Alcohol (based on the German A-4 engine).  Redstone used the 75K engine originally developed for, but never used by, Navaho.  The G26 Navaho missiles that ultimately flew used 120K LOX/Alcohol engines.  Early Atlas designs contemplated use of seven 120K Navaho engines.  There may have been earlier concepts that used even larger numbers of 75K engines. 

During 1953-54, Rocketdyne made a big step forward with the Rocket Engine Advancement Program (REAP) that developed the 135K kerosene/LOX engine, originally planned for G38 Navaho and eventually used by Atlas, for which it was improved to 150Klfb.

Rocketdyne's Sam Hoffman initially did not want to use the JP-4 (a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend used as jet fuel) proposed by Convair for Atlas.  Hoffman eventually agreed to switch from Alcohol to kerosene, but only after insisting that the Air Force accept a tighter kerosene-only specification now known as RP-1.  RP-1 (Rocket Propellant 1) came from REAP, as I understand things.

I had not encountered mention of "gasoline" for Atlas until I saw this 1954 video.  I wonder if it might have been a generic word used at the time for presentations like this.  Perhaps it was shorthand for JP-4.  Development of RP would have been a big secret at the time.

 - Ed Kyle   
« Last Edit: 09/02/2017 05:01 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #11 on: 09/02/2017 06:09 PM »
Keep in mind that efficient kerosene combustion had become better understood, partially due to significant research on jet engines for both military and civilian application, at the time.

OK, but why switch to alcohol for flight testing?  Why not either stay with kerosene or move on to gasoline?

Alcohol combustion is less susceptible to TO because its less complex, part of why early jets/rocket engines used it (they were taming the technology). Interestingly, F80's used an alcohol injection for assist at take-off that smoothed out the low altitude combustion.
 
Alcohol has less energy density then kero. Kero also has high wetting like alcohol, and less issues than gasoline with flash/vapor. Combining it with gas brings those back.

As time went on, the mathematical/computer models of fuel rich combustion reliably converged fairly early, encouraging use. (Hydrogen came after.) The only exception to this has been oxygen rich combustion, which still brings surprises in nonuniform mixtures/species.

Likely the tests were to prove proper engine function/operation, and it did not matter the performance/duration/consumption of propellant. So it removed a variable from the system under test.

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #12 on: 09/03/2017 09:46 AM »
Alcohol combustion is less susceptible to TO because its less complex, part of why early jets/rocket engines used it (they were taming the technology). Interestingly, F80's used an alcohol injection for assist at take-off that smoothed out the low altitude combustion.

The problems with rough combustion on Rocketdyne kerolox engines are well-known and caused a number of spectacular failures on test stands and launches, they had to be worked out for the Saturn F-1 engine.

Alcohol doesn't have as many issues as RP-1 with rough combustion, although it wasn't unknown. There were some problems on the early Redstone tests, for example the third Redstone flight (RS-3 on 5/4/54) experienced a  combustion transient at liftoff and fell back onto the pad, exploding. These problems were worked out early on as Q/C on Redstone engines improved.

Soviet rockets had occasional rough combustion problems as well, it caused a couple of R-7 and Kosmos 3M fails.

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #13 on: 09/03/2017 04:51 PM »
Had it been real gasoline, I get an image of an unfueled Atlas being towed to a nearby gas station on an extra-wide trailer: "10,000 gallons of regular, please."

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #14 on: 09/03/2017 07:48 PM »
Alcohol doesn't have as many issues as RP-1 with rough combustion, although it wasn't unknown. There were some problems on the early Redstone tests, for example the third Redstone flight (RS-3 on 5/4/54) experienced a  combustion transient at liftoff and fell back onto the pad, exploding.
Believe that was due to the flat plate injector design that induced combustion instability, not the use of alcohol.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2017 08:06 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

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Re: Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1956
« Reply #15 on: 09/03/2017 11:01 PM »
The early A-6 engines used on the first R&D Redstone flights did have some problems with rough combustion, mostly resulting in premature engine shutdown in flight, but (as I said) the third test lost thrust right after liftoff and dropped back onto LC-4 in a fireball. When they examined the missile debris, the LOX dome was found to be ruptured due to a low-order explosion in the injector head. Werner von Braun allegedly said afterwards "One hundred percent missile reliability will be achieved when the missile's target area is more dangerous than the launch area."

The original V-2 engine used a complex multichamber design to ensure smooth combustion but Rocketdyne rejected this for being too heavy, complicated, and expensive (cost wasn't an issue in Nazi Germany where V-2 engines were assembled with slave labor, but American workers had to actually be paid). Besides, manufacturing technology had improved a lot since WWII and better, more lightweight rocket engines could be built by the '50s. The basic design they came up with was the prototype for all subsequent Rocketdyne engines.

Rocketdyne engines in static tests had issues with high frequency "racetrack" combustion instability which would cause the propellants to swirl around in a whirlpool and produce a jackhammer effect that demolished the injector head. This may have caused the on-pad explosion of three Atlas ICBM tests, but the exact reason was not determined with certainty. The ultimate solution of adding baffles to the injector head to break up swirling propellant had the downside of added weight and reduced performance.

Although combustion instability on the Redstone had been solved early on, its recurrence on the Atlas was due to the much bigger engines as well as RP-1 propellant, which as Space Ghost mentioned, is more chemically complex than alcohol.

The Saturn F-1 program absorbed a number of lessons learned by Rocketdyne over the years, but it also required the development of new alloys to prevent rough combustion on the giant engines and a few F-1s exploded in tests while the design was being worked out. Soviet manufacturing for comparison never did prove itself up to the task of solving rough combustion on large kerolox engines, hence they still had to design the RD-180 as a single unit with four thrust chambers.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2017 06:48 PM by WallE »

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Re: Project Atlas Reports
« Reply #16 on: 09/10/2017 11:42 PM »
Note:  I changed the thread to Project Atlas Reports so that I can post other quarterly reports.  Tks, Tony.

Atlas ICBM Missile: "Project Atlas Report 2nd Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Sep 10, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the second quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-14

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) Communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

--------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbkmoDXzU_w?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Project Atlas Reports
« Reply #17 on: 09/20/2017 12:11 AM »
Atlas ICBM Missile: "Project Atlas Report 3rd Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics

Jeff Quitney
Published on Sep 19, 20


SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the third quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-15



The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as a first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593, but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954 the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract was awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

---------------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSc8GsdZXKk?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Project Atlas Reports
« Reply #18 on: 10/06/2017 04:25 AM »
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 4th Quarter 1956" Convair Division, General Dynamics ICBM

Jeff Quitney
Published on Oct 5, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the fourth quarter of 1956. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-17

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division. The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

-------------------------------------------

Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BLtH1bwErE?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Project Atlas Reports
« Reply #19 on: 10/18/2017 03:10 AM »
Atlas Missile: "Project Atlas Report 1st Quarter 1957" Convair Division, General Dynamics ICBM

Jeff Quitney
Published on Oct 17, 2017

SM-65 Atlas ICBM: Project Atlas contractor's report for the first quarter of 1957. Covers all areas of Atlas missile development (Weapon System WS-107A).

Convair Atlas film AT-20

The SM-65 Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant north of San Diego, California. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as the first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile's warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

An initial development contract was given to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) on 16 January 1951 for what was then called MX-1593 but at a relatively low priority. The 1953 testing of the first dry fuel H-bomb in the Soviet Union led to the project being dramatically accelerated. The initial design completed by Convair in 1953 was larger than the missile that eventually entered service. Estimated warhead weight was lowered from 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) based on highly favorable U.S. nuclear warhead tests in early 1954, and on 14 May 1954, the Atlas program was formally given the highest national priority. A major development and test contract were awarded to Convair on 14 January 1955 for a 10-foot (3 m) diameter missile to weigh about 250,000 lb (113,400 kg). Atlas development was tightly controlled by the Air Force's Western Development Division, WDD, later part of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division... The first successful flight of a highly instrumented Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. Atlas ICBMs were deployed operationally from 31 October 1959 to 12 April 1965.

On 18 December 1958, the launch of Atlas 10B sent the missile into orbit around the Earth (without the use of an upper stage) carrying the "SCORE" (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications payload. Atlas 10B/SCORE, at 8,750 lb (3,970 kg) was the heaviest man-made object then in orbit, the first voice relay satellite, and the first man-made object in space easily visible to the naked eye due to the large, mirror-polished stainless steel tank... Many retired Atlas ICBMs would be used as launch vehicles, most with an added spin-stabilized solid rocket motor upper stage for polar orbit military payloads. Even before its military use ended in 1965, Atlas had placed four Project Mercury astronauts in orbit and was becoming the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles, most notably Atlas Agena and Atlas-Centaur.

Mergers led to the acquisition of the Atlas-Centaur line by Lockheed Martin which in turn became part of the United Launch Alliance. Today Lockheed Martin and ULA support a new Atlas rocket family based on the larger "Atlas V" which still uses the unique and highly efficient Centaur upper stage. Atlas V stage one is powered by a Russian RD-180 oxygen/kerosene engine and uses conventional aluminum isogrid tankage rather than the thin-wall, pressure-stabilized stainless steel tanks of the original Convair Atlas. Payload weights have increased along with launch vehicle weights over the years so the current Atlas V family serves many of the same type commercial, DoD, and planetary missions as earlier Atlas Centaurs.

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Originally a public domain film from the US Government slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce29-OJyEEA?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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