|astronautix.com||Atlas Centaur LV-3C|
|Atlas LV - Atlas LV-3C s/n AC-3 / Centaur D s/n 135D - 1964-06-30|
25,623 bytes. 183 x 476 pixels.
First test version of Atlas with Centaur upper stage.
Launches: 12. Failures: 4. Success Rate: 66.67% pct. First Launch Date: 08 May 1962. Last Launch Date: 14 July 1967. Payload: 1,800 kg. to a: Geosynchronous transfer trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 173,843 kgf. Total Mass: 136,124 kg. Core Diameter: 3.1 m. Total Length: 33.0 m.
After consultation and discussion with DOD, NASA formulated a national space vehicle program. The central idea of the program was that a single launch vehicle should be developed for use in each series of future space missions. The launch vehicle would thus achieve a high degree of reliability, while the guidance and payload could be varied according to purpose of the mission. Four general-purpose launch vehicles were described: Vega, Centaur, Saturn, and Nova. The Nova booster stage would be powered by a cluster of four F-1 engines, the second stage by a single F-1, and the third stage would be the size of an intercontinental ballistic missile but would use liquid hydrogen as a fuel. This launch vehicle would be the first in a series that could transport a man to the lunar surface and return him safely to earth in a direct ascent mission. Four additional stages would be required in such a mission.
NASA issues plan for development in next decade of Vega (later cancelled as too similar to Agena), Centaur, Saturn, and Nova launch vehicles. Juno V renamed Saturn I.
Launch vehicle test. Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit
Centaur test. Launch vehicle was to have put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit
Launch vehicle test. Launch vehicle put dummy Surveyor payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit
|Atlas LV - Atlas LV-3C s/n AC-3 - 1964-06-30|
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Surveyor model launched dummy Surveyor payload into a barycentric / translunar orbit.
Launch vehicle test. Payload was dummy Surveyor spacecraft.
Surveyor 1 soft landed on the moon in the Ocean of Storms and began transmitting the first of more than 11,150 clear, detailed television pictures to Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Facility, Goldstone, Calif. The landing sequence began 3,200 kilometers above the moon with the spacecraft traveling at a speed of 9,700 kilometers per hour. The spacecraft was successfully slowed to 5.6 kilometers per hour by the time it reached 4-meter altitude and then free-fell to the surface at 13 kilometers per hour. The landing was so precise that the three footpads touched the surface within 19 milliseconds of each other, and it confirmed that the lunar surface could support the LM. It was the first U.S. attempt to soft land on the moon.
|Atlas Centaur C|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,139 bytes. 68 x 437 pixels.
Soft lunar landing attempt failed. Surveyor II was launched from Cape Kennedy at 8:32 a.m. EDT. The Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle placed the spacecraft on a nearly perfect lunar intercept trajectory that would have missed the aim point by about 130 kilometers. Following injection, the spacecraft successfully accomplished all required sequences up to the midcourse thrust phase. This phase was not successful because of the failure of one of the three vernier engines to ignite, causing eventual loss of the mission. Contact with the spacecraft was lost at 5:35 a.m. EDT, September 22, and impact on the lunar surface was predicted at 11:18 p.m. on that day.
Launch vehicle test. Launch vehicle put Surveyor spacecraft payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit
Soft landed on Moon; perrformed soil sample tests and imaged lunar surface.
Soft lunar landing attempt failed.