Author Topic: Atlas Q&A  (Read 6995 times)

Offline DaveJ576

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Atlas Q&A
« on: 04/30/2022 10:37 pm »
If Atlas Able had been completely successful, how much would it have been used by NASA? I know that it had been intended as an interim launch vehicle, and it seems as if it was quickly eclipsed in capability by Atlas Agena. Was it really only destined to be a stopgap for a handful of launches or would it have seen wider use if it had been successful?

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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #1 on: 05/01/2022 03:17 am »
Atlas-Able was meant to be an interim solution while the more-capable Atlas-Vega (later Atlas-Agena) and Atlas-Centaur were developed.  If Atlas-Able had succeeded, it probably would only have flown for a year or two longer at most.  Then again, Thor-Able modified to Thor-Delta was also supposed to be an interim effort, until the darn thing kept succeeding!

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/01/2022 03:17 am by edkyle99 »

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #2 on: 05/01/2022 01:49 pm »
I found a technical manual that showed that the Atlas F had two guide rails attached to either side of the sustainer to keep the booster section from impacting the sustainer during booster separation. Was the two rail configuration common across the Atlas B,C,D, and E models as well? I have seen one non-official reference that showed four rails.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #3 on: 05/01/2022 03:56 pm »
I found a technical manual that showed that the Atlas F had two guide rails attached to either side of the sustainer to keep the booster section from impacting the sustainer during booster separation. Was the two rail configuration common across the Atlas B,C,D, and E models as well? I have seen one non-official reference that showed four rails.
Yes, right through to Atlas 2A and 2AS I'm pretty sure.  Here are images of the rails on Atlas 47F and AC-60.  These were called "Jettison Tracks".  There were "Slides" mounted to the booster package that ran inside the "Tracks", two Slides (Fore and Aft) per Track.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/01/2022 06:00 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #4 on: 11/21/2022 08:00 pm »
A question concerning the Atlas Centaur LV-3C vs the SLV-3C: were the main stage tanks the same length? I know that the SLV-3C had the upgraded -7 sustainer and booster engines, but did the SLV-3C have longer tanks?
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Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #5 on: 11/21/2022 08:19 pm »
A question concerning the Atlas Centaur LV-3C vs the SLV-3C: were the main stage tanks the same length? I know that the SLV-3C had the upgraded -7 sustainer and booster engines, but did the SLV-3C have longer tanks?
Since the Atlas SLV-3C was longer than the LV-3C, I would suppose that it had a slightly longer first stage fuel tank compared to that of the LV-3C.

Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #6 on: 11/29/2022 04:24 pm »
A question concerning the Atlas Centaur LV-3C vs the SLV-3C: were the main stage tanks the same length? I know that the SLV-3C had the upgraded -7 sustainer and booster engines, but did the SLV-3C have longer tanks?
« Last Edit: 11/29/2022 04:24 pm by Jim »

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #7 on: 08/26/2023 10:54 pm »
Were the fairings on the Atlas Agena B's that launched the P-102 Heavy Ferrets and the OGO two piece split fairings or a one piece nose cone type?
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #8 on: 08/30/2023 02:13 pm »
Were the fairings on the Atlas Agena B's that launched the P-102 Heavy Ferrets and the OGO two piece split fairings or a one piece nose cone type?
The OGO shrouds appear to have been "Nimbus Type" shrouds, which were two-piece shrouds.  They were of fiberglass and aluminum.

SAMOS shroud details are still unknown to me.  Peter Hunter collected good photos of them on the launch stand, etc., but the resolution is just not definitive.  These were shorter than the Nimbus shrouds.  My guess would be two-piece.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/30/2023 02:51 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #9 on: 11/11/2023 06:22 pm »
How many times was Atlas used without upper stages as an orbital launch vehicle? Off hand, I'm thinking ten: SCORE and 9 Mercury shots.

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #10 on: 11/12/2023 12:47 am »
How many times was Atlas used without upper stages as an orbital launch vehicle? Off hand, I'm thinking ten: SCORE and 9 Mercury shots.

ATDA had no propulsion other than RCS.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #11 on: 11/12/2023 01:40 pm »
How many times was Atlas used without upper stages as an orbital launch vehicle? Off hand, I'm thinking ten: SCORE and 9 Mercury shots.
ATDA
NOAA

Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2023 01:43 pm »
Were the fairings on the Atlas Agena B's that launched the P-102 Heavy Ferrets and the OGO two piece split fairings or a one piece nose cone type?

 P-102 Heavy Ferrets was launched on Thor Agenas

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #13 on: 11/13/2023 01:33 pm »
Were the fairings on the Atlas Agena B's that launched the P-102 Heavy Ferrets and the OGO two piece split fairings or a one piece nose cone type?

 P-102 Heavy Ferrets was launched on Thor Agenas

Thanks for the correction. I knew that but typed it too fast. I am still interested in the fairing configuration.
« Last Edit: 11/13/2023 01:36 pm by DaveJ576 »
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #14 on: 11/13/2023 01:41 pm »
How many times was Atlas used without upper stages as an orbital launch vehicle? Off hand, I'm thinking ten: SCORE and 9 Mercury shots.
ATDA
NOAA

Which particular NOAA satellites? All those I can find that were launched on Atlases had Star upper stages.

Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #15 on: 11/13/2023 02:04 pm »
How many times was Atlas used without upper stages as an orbital launch vehicle? Off hand, I'm thinking ten: SCORE and 9 Mercury shots.
ATDA
NOAA

Which particular NOAA satellites? All those I can find that were launched on Atlases had Star upper stages.

The motors were part of the spacecraft.   I have issue with Gunter's characterization that they are separate upper stages.
The CONTOUR and Voyager spacecraft had SRMs that were SRMs

The SRM on DMSP was controlled by the spacecraft guidance system.  The spacecraft RCS system was sized to control any thrust imbalance of the SRM.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Atlas Q&A
« Reply #16 on: 11/13/2023 06:28 pm »
The motors were part of the spacecraft.   I have issue with Gunter's characterization that they are separate upper stages.
The CONTOUR and Voyager spacecraft had SRMs that were SRMs

The SRM on DMSP was controlled by the spacecraft guidance system.  The spacecraft RCS system was sized to control any thrust imbalance of the SRM.
Yes, but if you consider the solid motor and the ISS part of the satellite, then Atlas only flew suborbital on those missions and is outside the scope of discussion here!    :)

So I suppose the question could be rephrased to ask:  Which Atlas sustainer stages made it to orbit?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/13/2023 06:33 pm by edkyle99 »

Tags: Atlas slv-3c 
 

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