This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Agena D

Agena in orbit
Agena in orbit -

Credit: NASA. 30,272 bytes. 435 x 280 pixels.

Gross Mass: 6,821 kg. Empty Mass: 673 kg. Thrust (vac): 7,257 kgf. Isp: 300 sec. Burn time: 265 sec. Propellants: Nitric acid/UDMH Isp(sl): 0 sec. Diameter: 1.5 m. Span: 1.5 m. Length: 7.1 m. Country: USA. No Engines: 1. Bell 8096 Status: Hardware. Used as: Atlas Agena D; Thor Agena D; Titan 3B; Titan 34B.

One of the real workhorses of U. S. space exploration, Agena was an upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. Agena played a key role in manned space flight; it was the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. Agena had a main rocket engine capable of multiple re-starts in space; in the modified target vehicle version it also had 2 secondary engines to provide small changes in velocity and position in orbit. In the Gemini Agena, a control system could handle 96 commands from the astronauts or from ground stations. Agena was used as an upper stage with the Thor, augmented Thor, Atlas and Titan boosters; it had played important roles in such military and NASA programs as Discoverer, Samos, Mariner, OGO, Lunar Orbiter, Ranger and Orbiting Astronomical Observatory.

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .