Athena II

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Athena II

Athena 2 - Lunar Prospector.jpg

Athena II at LC-46 with Lunar Prospector
Function Small expendable launch system
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Alliant Techsystems
Country of origin United States
Size
Height 28.2 metres (93 ft)
Diameter 2.36 metres (7 ft 9 in)
Mass 120,700 kilograms (266,100 lb)
Stages Four
Capacity
Payload to LEO 2,065 kilograms (4,553 lb)
Payload to SSO 1,165 kilograms (2,568 lb)
Payload to GTO 593 kilograms (1,307 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Athena
Comparable Falcon 1
Minotaur IV
Taurus
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Cape Canaveral LC-46
Vandenberg AFB SLC-6
Total launches 3
Successes 2
Failures 1
First flight 7 January 1998
Last flight 24 September 1999
First stage – Castor 120
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 1,900 kilonewtons (430,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 280 sec
Burn time 83 seconds
Fuel HTPB
Second stage – Castor 120
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 1,900 kilonewtons (430,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 280 sec
Burn time 83 seconds
Fuel HTPB
Third stage (Athena II) – Orbus 21D
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 189.2 kilonewtons (42,500 lbf)
Specific impulse 293 sec
Burn time 150 seconds
Fuel HTPB
Third stage (Athena IIc) – Castor 30
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 258.9 kilonewtons (58,200 lbf) [1]
Specific impulse 294 sec [2]
Burn time 143 seconds [2]
Fuel HTPB
Fourth stage – OAM
Engines 4 MR-107
Thrust 882 newtons (198 lbf)
Specific impulse 222 sec
Burn time 1,500 seconds
Fuel Hydrazine

The Athena II is an American small expendable launch system which was used for three launches between 1998 and 1999, [3] and which was scheduled to return to service in 2012 but has not been flown again as of January 2017. It is a member of the Athena family of rockets, along with the smaller Athena I. Future launches would use the Athena IIc configuration, which features a different third stage. [4]

Expendable launch system launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle

An expendable launch vehicle (ELV) is a launch system or launch vehicle stage that is used only once to carry a payload into space. Historically, satellites and human spacecraft were launched mainly using expendable launchers. ELV advantages include cost savings through mass production, and a greater payload fraction.

Athena (rocket family) Lockheed Martin expendable launch system

Athena was a 1990s Lockheed Martin expendable launch system which underwent several name changes in its lifetime.

Athena I expendable launch system

The Athena I, known as the Lockheed Launch Vehicle (LLV) at the time of its first flight and Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV) at the time of its second flight, is an American small expendable launch system which was used for four launches between 1995 and 2001. It is a member of the Athena family of rockets, along with the larger Athena II.

The Athena II is a four-stage rocket, consisting of solid first, second and third stages, and a monopropellant liquid-fuelled fourth stage. The first and second stages are Castor 120s, which are also used on some versions of the Taurus rocket. An Orbus 21D motor was used as the third stage on launches during the 1990s, however when it returns to service in 2012 the Castor 30, which is under development for the Taurus II, [1] will be used instead. [4] The fourth stage is an Orbital Adjustment Module, fuelled by hydrazine and propelled by four MR-107 engines, which is used for final insertion. [5] [6]

Monopropellants are propellants consisting of chemicals that release energy through exothermic chemical decomposition. The molecular bond energy of the monopropellant is released usually through use of a catalyst. This can be contrasted with bipropellants that release energy through the chemical reaction between an oxidizer and a fuel. While stable under defined storage conditions, monopropellants decompose very rapidly under certain other conditions to produce a large volume of energetic (hot) gases for the performance of mechanical work. Although solid deflagrants such as nitrocellulose, the most commonly used propellant in firearms, could be thought of as monopropellants, the term is usually reserved for liquids in engineering literature.

Castor (rocket stage) family of solid-fuel rocket stages and boosters

The Castor family of solid-fuel rocket stages and boosters built by Thiokol and used on a variety of launch vehicles. They were initially developed as the second-stage motor of the Scout rocket. The design was based on the MGM-29 Sergeant, a surface-to-surface missile developed for the United States Army at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Hydrazine is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula N
2
H
4
, called diamidogen, archaically. It is a simple pnictogen hydride, and is a colorless and flammable liquid with an ammonia-like odour.

Prior to its retirement in 1999, Athena II launches were made from Launch Complex 46 at Spaceport Florida and Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. LC-46 will also be used for Athena IIc launches, with Launch Pad 0B of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and Pad 1 of the Kodiak Launch Complex also offered. If a launch from Vandenberg is ordered, Space Launch Complex 8 will be used instead of SLC-6, which was rebuilt as a Delta IV launch complex following the Athena's initial retirement. [7]

Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 46

Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) is a launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station operated under license by Space Florida for Athena rocket launches.

Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 6

Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is a launch pad and support area. The site was originally developed for the Titan III and Manned Orbiting Laboratory, which was cancelled before construction of SLC-6 was complete. The complex was later rebuilt to serve as the west coast launch site for the Space Shuttle, but again went unused due to budget, safety and political considerations. The pad was subsequently used for several Athena launches before being modified to support the Delta IV launch vehicle family, which have used the pad since 2006.

Vandenberg Air Force Base census-designated place in California, United States

Vandenberg Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base 9.2 miles (14.8 km) northwest of Lompoc, California. It is under the jurisdiction of the 30th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

During the 1990s, three Athena II launches were conducted, with one failure. Its maiden flight was conducted from LC-46 at Spaceport Florida, and lifted off at 02:28 GMT on 7 January 1997. The launch, which was the first to take place from Spaceport Florida, successfully placed the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into orbit for NASA. The next Athena II launch took place from SLC-6 at Vandenberg on 27 April 1999, with the Ikonos satellite for Space Imaging. The launch ended in failure after the payload fairing failed to separate, and as a result the rocket had too much mass to achieve orbital velocity. [8] The third launch also took place from SLC-6 at Vandenberg, on 24 September 1999. The payload, Ikonos 1, was also for Space Imaging, and successfully reached orbit. [3] [9]

<i>Lunar Prospector</i> NASA mission designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon

Lunar Prospector was the third mission selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program. At a cost of $62.8 million, the 19-month mission was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition including polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events. The mission ended July 31, 1999, when the orbiter was deliberately crashed into a crater near the lunar south pole after the presence of water ice was successfully detected.

NASA space-related agency of the United States government

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

IKONOS was a commercial Earth observation satellite, and was the first to collect publicly available high-resolution imagery at 1- and 4-meter resolution. It collected multispectral (MS) and panchromatic (PAN) imagery. The capability to observe Earth via space-based telescope has been called "one of the most significant developments in the history of the space age", and IKONOS brought imagery rivaling that of military spy satellites to the commercial market. IKONOS imagery began being sold on 1 January 2000, and the spacecraft was retired in 2015.

See also

ALV X-1

ALV X-1 was to be a sounding rocket flight of a vehicle developed by Alliant Techsystems called the ATK Launch Vehicle (ALV). The rocket carried the SOAREX-VI and Hy-BoLT experiments as payloads. The flight was launched at 09:10 GMT on August 22, 2008, and then the rocket was intentionally destroyed 20 seconds into flight after veering too far off course. Launch occurred from LP-0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

This page contains the lift launch systems constructed by some solid fuel stages except final stage.

Related Research Articles

Delta (rocket family) rocket family

Delta is an American versatile family of expendable launch systems that has provided space launch capability in the United States since 1960. There have been more than 300 Delta rockets launched, with a 95% success rate. Only the Delta IV remains in use as of 2018. Delta rockets are currently manufactured and launched by the United Launch Alliance.

Minotaur-C four stage, solid fuel launch vehicle

Minotaur-C, formerly known as Taurus or Taurus XL, is a four stage solid fueled launch vehicle built in the United States by Northrop Grumman and launched from SLC-576E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is based on the air-launched Pegasus rocket from the same manufacturer, utilizing a "zeroth stage" in place of an airplane. The Minotaur-C is able to carry a payload of around 1,350 kg into a low Earth orbit.

Minotaur (rocket family) family of American rockets

The Minotaur is a family of American solid fuel rockets derived from converted Minuteman and Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles. They are built by Northrop Grumman via contract with the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Space Development and Test Directorate (SMC/SD) as part of the Air Force's Rocket Systems Launch Program which converts retired Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) into space and test launch systems for US Government Agencies.

Space Shuttle design process

Before the Project Apollo Moon landing in 1969, NASA began studies of Space Shuttle designs as early as October 1968. The early studies were denoted "Phase A", and in June 1970, "Phase B", which were more detailed and specific. The primary intended use of the Space Shuttle was supporting the future space station, ferrying a minimum crew of four and about 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) of cargo, and able to be rapidly turned around for future flights.

Delta E American expendable launch system

The Delta E, or Thor-Delta E was an American expendable launch system used for twenty-three orbital launches between 1965 and 1971. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets.

Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4

Space Launch Complex 4 (SLC-4) is a launch and landing site at Vandenberg Air Force Base with two pads, both of which are used by SpaceX for Falcon 9 launch operations.

Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 5 military facility

Space Launch Complex 5 (SLC-5) was a launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States. It was previously part of the Point Arguello Naval Air Station, during which time it was designated Launch Complex D or LC-D. Constructed in 1961, it was used by 69 Scout rockets between 1962 and 1994. Satellites launched from the complex included Transit, OV3, Explorer and P35 spacecraft. Most of the satellites launched from SLC-5 were placed into low Earth orbits, or low medium Earth orbits.

Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 8 military facility

Space Launch Complex 8 (SLC-8), is a launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States. It is used by Minotaur rockets. It was originally part of the California Spaceport, and was known as the Commercial Launch Facility (CLF) or Space Launch Facility (SLF).

Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0 launch complex at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

Launch Pad 0, Pad 0 or LP-0, also known as Launch Complex 0, Launch Area 0 or LA-0, is a launch complex at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia in the United States. MARS is located adjacent to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), which ran the launch complex until 2003. WFF continues to provide various support services to MARS launches under contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Delta N

The Delta N or Thor-Delta N was an American expendable launch system used for nine orbital launches between 1968 and 1972. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets, and the last Delta to be given an alphabetical designation - subsequent rockets were designated using a four digit numerical code.

Delta 2000

The Delta 2000 series was an American expendable launch system which was used to conduct forty-four orbital launches between 1974 and 1981. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets. Several variants existed, which were differentiated by a four digit numerical code.
The Delta 1000, 2000 and 3000 series used surplus NASA Apollo program rockets engines for its first and second stages.

Delta 5000

The Delta 5000 series was an American expendable launch system which was used to conduct an orbital launch in 1989. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets. Although several variants were put forward, only the Delta 5920 was launched. The designation used a four digit numerical code to store information on the configuration of the rocket. It was built from a combination of spare parts left over from earlier Delta rockets, which were being retired, and parts from the Delta II 6000-series, which was just entering service.

SpaceX launch facilities

As of December 2017, SpaceX uses three leased orbital launch sites: Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, both in Florida, and Space Launch Complex 4E of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Space Launch Complex 40 was damaged in the Amos-6 accident on September 2016 and repair work was completed by December 2017. SpaceX is also building a commercial-only launch facility at the Boca Chica site near Brownsville, Texas and is expected to be operational no earlier than 2019.

References

  1. 1 2 "Taurus II" (PDF). Orbital Sciences Corporation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  2. 1 2 Kyle, Ed (26 March 2010). "Taurus II". Space Launch Report. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  3. 1 2 Wade, Mark. "Athena". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  4. 1 2 "Lockheed Martin and ATK Announce 2nd Generation Athena Launch Vehicles". Lockheed Martin. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  5. Krebs, Gunter. "Athena (LLV / LMLV)". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  6. Wade, Mark. "OAM". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  7. Scully, Janene (26 March 2010). "Firms team to revive Athena rocket". Lompoc Record. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  8. "Lockheed: Ikonos Fell into Sea". Wired. 29 April 1999. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  9. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.