Author Topic: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle  (Read 10411 times)

Offline Jim

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Why wasn't the Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle after they were decommissioned?  All the Atlas D, E & F's were used up?   some T-II's was converted in the late 80's but they ended up to be more expensive than Delta II's.  Titan I was available in the mid 1960's.  Was it because the was no above ground Titan I launch complexes at VAFB?

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 03/27/2009 01:49 PM »
I have kinda wondered about the lack of T1 after deactivation myself.
We could consider the following:

No above ground facilities for T1 as noted
A glut of Atlases available plus continued production of SLV (would provide support and personnel).
Multiple Atlas surface facilities [8] including coffins could be used [VAFB]
Atlas F (most numerous) and E could be flown off modified surface pads used originally for D and SLV
« Last Edit: 03/27/2009 08:09 PM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Archibald

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/2009 02:11 PM »
By the way, were those Titan I scrapped ?

 Or were some parts salvaged (I think of the LR-87 and LR-91 engines) ?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/2009 02:37 PM »

 Or were some parts salvaged (I think of the LR-87 and LR-91 engines) ?


Those engines weren't used for anything else

Offline Proponent

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 03/03/2011 02:23 AM »
Ancient thread, I know, but the attached 1961 NASA launch-vehicle handbook gives payload capabilities for the Titan I.  See page 87 of the PDF and following pages.

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 09/27/2011 04:25 PM »
While looking through something else I noticed an interesting Titan I trivia tidbit. Though the Titan I was never used for an orbital launch, part of one was placed in orbit.

Now for the trivia, who can answer the W's on that tidbit faster than Jim?
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 09/27/2011 04:32 PM »
Titan I oxydizer Tank as part of the OV4-3 satellite, which was a MOL dummy.

Launched on 3 November 1966 on a Titan-3C together with the Gemini-B capsule and three small satellites.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/ov4-3.htm

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 09/27/2011 05:15 PM »
That was the tidbit I was thinking about.

Think it was because it was already a tank designed to handle the flight loads?
« Last Edit: 09/27/2011 05:15 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 09/30/2013 08:25 PM »
Although Titan I had some successful launches, and although it was designed with a more conservative technical approach than the contemporary Atlas, Titan was never used as a satellite launcher. More surprisingly, when it came to selection of a launch vehicle for Mercury, NASA went with Atlas or Titan.

So, why was Titan I shunned as a space launcher?

Was it this?    :o



Offline Blackstar

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #9 on: 09/30/2013 08:44 PM »
I think it got overtaken by events (or OBE, as those of us obsessed with acronyms know it).

There were other options coming along fast, and Titan I was quickly heading for retirement. I think it had a brief window during which it was considered for space launches (I've seen some documents listing Titan I as an option) and then everybody decided to stick with other vehicles instead, particularly ones that were remaining in production.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #10 on: 09/30/2013 10:09 PM »
Although Titan I had some successful launches, and although it was designed with a more conservative technical approach than the contemporary Atlas, Titan was never used as a satellite launcher. More surprisingly, when it came to selection of a launch vehicle for Mercury, NASA went with Atlas or Titan.

So, why was Titan I shunned as a space launcher?

Was it this?    [video of a Titan I failure]

Titan I had more than only "some" successes.  It flew 67 times beginning in 1959.  By the end it sported a higher success rate than Atlas after the same number of flights.  So the failures were not the reason for Titan I's end.

Titan I (simply "Titan" at first) was quickly outmoded by Titan II, which began flying in 1962.  At that point, any future use of "Titan" for space missions was going to be Titan II by default.  The Martin factory was turned over to Titan II, as were the launch pads, etc., so the infrastructure needed to support a Titan I space launch program simply didn't exist.  A similar thing happened to Jupiter. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/30/2013 10:15 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #11 on: 09/30/2013 10:50 PM »
The question remains why NASA did not choose the "conservative" Titan I over Atlas for Mercury? Did Titan I not have the performance to orbit the Mercury capsule?

Offline Danderman

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #12 on: 09/30/2013 10:51 PM »
I should note that the Russian R-9 was basically a Russian Titan 1, and suffered the same fate.

Online kevin-rf

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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #14 on: 10/01/2013 12:01 AM »
The question remains why NASA did not choose the "conservative" Titan I over Atlas for Mercury? Did Titan I not have the performance to orbit the Mercury capsule?

My guess would be timing.  The Project Mercury booster decisions were made in 1958, a year before Titan I began flying.  Atlas first flew in 1957.

Atlas was actually more conservative than Titan in that all of its engines ignited on the pad.  Titan had to air-start its second stage.

 - Ed Kyle

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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #16 on: 10/01/2013 09:42 AM »
At least Titan I was considered as the booster for suborbital Dyna Soar flights.

Offline DMeader

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #17 on: 10/02/2013 12:41 AM »
Mmmm... fins!  :D

Offline catdlr

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #18 on: 03/01/2018 03:15 AM »
bump....

Titan 1 Launch 1960-10-24 USAF Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Launch Complex 19, ICBM Test Flight

Jeff Quitney
Published on Feb 28, 2018

1960 US Air Force film of Titan I missile J-6 launch on October 24, 1960 from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 19. The Titan carried a Mark IV reentry vehicle on a suborbital (ICBM) flight, and the test was successful.

The SM-68 Titan (individual variants later designated HGM-25 and LGM-25) was the designation for two American intercontinental ballistic missiles; which were members of the Titan family of rockets. These consisted of the Titan I and Titan II missiles, which were operational between 1962 and 1987, and were a major component of the United States fleet of missiles during the Cold War.

Titan was originally built as a backup to the SM-65 Atlas. The Titan I used RP-1 and liquid oxygen propellant, resulting in a response time of around fifteen minutes, required to fuel the rocket and raise it to a launch position. It was replaced by the more powerful Titan II, which used nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine, allowing it to be stored with propellant loaded, giving it a much shorter response time.

The warhead of the Titan I was an AVCO Mk 4 re-entry vehicle containing a W38 thermonuclear bomb with a yield of 3.75 megatons which was fuzed for either air burst or contact burst. The Mk 4 RV also deployed penetration aids in the form of mylar balloons which replicated the radar signature of the Mk 4 RV.

Launch Complex 19 (LC-19) is a deactivated launch site on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida used by NASA to launch all of the Gemini manned spaceflights. It was also used by unmanned Titan I and Titan II missiles.

LC-19 was in use from 1959 to 1966, during which time it saw 27 launches, 10 of which were manned. The first flight from LC-19 was on August 14, 1959 and ended in a pad explosion, extensively damaging the facility, which took a few months to repair. The first successful launch from LC-19 was also a Titan I, on February 2, 1960. After being converted for the Titan II ICBM program in 1962, LC-19 was later designated for the Gemini flights. After the program concluded in December 1966, LC-19 was closed down.

The Gemini white room from the top of the booster erector has been partially restored and is on display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum located at Complex 26.

--------------------------------------------
Originally a public domain film from the US Air Force, 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=zQw3oJMcZtc?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline WallE

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Re: Titan I as a space launch vehicle or RV test vehicle
« Reply #19 on: 03/01/2018 05:19 AM »
Titan I wasn't used as an SLV because it was a backup program there solely in case Atlas didn't pan out, just as Jupiter was Thor's backup with no serious plans to develop it further (putting aside its brief, not very successful career as an SLV in 1958-61). It had longer range than Atlas but less lift capacity.

It was more advanced than Atlas in the sense of having a true two-stage design with an air-started engine, which was not yet considered feasible in the mid-'50s when Atlas was designed, same reason for the contemporary R-7 to have this setup. The problems of air-starting rocket engines were solved quickly and both the US and Soviet programs had them before the decade was out.

The Air Force began looking into storable propellants in 1959 and that quickly led to the Titan II. All the infrastructure for the Titan I was rapidly converted for the new missile--launch facilities and factory tooling at Martin-Marietta and Aerojet. That also explains the lack of decommissioned Titan Is being reused as space launchers--there were no spare parts available while Atlas was an active SLV with assembly lines going and parts still being produced to refurb Atlas E and F missiles.

Remember that the Titan I had surface pads only at the Cape, there were none at VAFB, just silos which weren't really usable for space launches. The Cape Titan pads were all converted for Titan II use in 1962 and there wasn't any way to perform space launches on a Titan I even if they wanted to.

As for Mercury, indeed the program began in 1958 before Titan I had even flown and NASA picked the Redstone and Atlas because they had many test flights to draw data from. Early plans envisioned using Thor or Jupiter for "intermediate" suborbital flights at a higher altitude than with Redstone, but these were quickly dropped as unnecessary. Redstone was half a decade old in 1958 and a reliable, mature missile while Thor and Jupiter were still undergoing R&D tests and not reliable or operational yet. Atlas was new and not reliable at all, but NASA had no other way of getting a Mercury in orbit.

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