|Medium launch vehicle
|Country of origin
|45 m (148 ft)
|3.05 m (10.0 ft)
|156,540 kg (345,110 lb)
|Payload to LEO
|3,300 kg (7,300 lb) (23B)
|SLC-4W, Vandenberg AFB
|29 July 1966
|12 February 1987
|First stage (Titan 23B/33B)
|1,913 kN (430,000 lbf)
|N2O4 / Aerozine 50
|445 kN (100,000 lbf)
|N2O4 / Aerozine 50
|Third stage –Agena
|1 Bell XLR81-BA-9
|71.7 kN (16,100 lbf)
Titan IIIB was the collective name for a number of derivatives of the Titan II ICBM and Titan III launch vehicle,modified by the addition of an Agena upper stage. It consisted of four separate rockets. The Titan 23B was a basic Titan II with an Agena upper stage,and the Titan 24B was the same concept,but using the slightly enlarged Titan IIIM rocket as the base. The Titan 33B was a Titan 23B with the Agena (which had a smaller diameter than the Titan) enclosed in an enlarged fairing,in order to allow larger payloads to be launched. The final member of the Titan IIIB family was the Titan 34B which was a Titan 24B with the larger fairing used on the Titan 33B.
Part of the Titan rocket family,the Titan 23B space launch vehicle was a three-stage liquid fueled booster,designed to provide a small-to-medium weight class capability. It was able to lift approximately 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) into a polar low-Earth circular orbit. The first stage consisted of a ground ignited Aerojet LR-87 liquid propellant rocket,while the second stage consisted of an LR91 liquid propellant rocket. The third stage was an Agena D XLR81-BA-9 liquid propellant rocket.[ citation needed ]
Various models of this Titan/Agena D rocket were called,"Titan 23B","Titan 24B","Titan 33B" and "Titan 34B".[ citation needed ]
The Titan rocket family was established in October 1955,when the Air Force awarded The Martin Company a contract to build an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It became known as the Titan I,the nation's first two-stage ICBM and first underground silo-based ICBM. More than 140 Titan II ICBMs,once the vanguard of America's strategic deterrent force,were built. Titan IIs also were flown in NASA's Gemini crewed space program in the mid-1960s. The Titan 23B is a derivative of the Titan II vehicle with an Agena D upper stage added.[ citation needed ]
The Titan IIIB family emerged when the new KH-8 (Gambit Mark 3) photo reconnaissance satellite was being developed as the successor to the KH-7 Gambit Mark 1/2 which began flying in 1963. It was decided to switch to the Titan family over the Atlas used for KH-7 because it had substantially more lift capability and also its conventional two-stage design and hypergolic propellants made for a simpler and more reliable launch vehicle than the quirky Atlas. The KH-8 was double the size of its predecessor but still well below the Titan's lift capability.[ citation needed ]
While the KH-8 was the original raison d'être for the Titan IIIB's existence,as well as its primary payload,the booster was also used for Jumpseat SIGINT satellites and military comsats. It also lived up to its promise of greater reliability than the Thor and Atlas,with only a few failures over its run.[ citation needed ]
Primary function:Launch vehicle used to lift medium class satellites into space:[ citation needed ]
Titan 23B used the basic Titan 3A core (including its Transtage) with an Agena D upper stage,though without the all-inertial guidance system,malfunction detection equipment,and redundant systems required for man-rating the 3A.The Titan 23B was launched from SLC-4W at Vandenberg AFB,Calif. Its main payload was the GAMBIT (KH-8 reconnaissance) satellites,in 9 flights from 1969 through 1971.
The Titan 24B differed from the Titan 23B in that the Titan IIIM core with extended propellant tanks was used in place of the original Titan II core. The payload remained attached to the Agena stage. 23 flights took place from 1971 to 1984,with two failures.[ citation needed ]
The Titan 33B was a Titan 23B with the entire Agena and payload completely enclosed in a shroud. It flew only three times (1971–73) with one failure and was used to launch Jumpseat satellites.[ citation needed ]
The Titan 34B was a Titan 24B,modified by the addition of the larger fairing used on the Titan 33B. 23 were launched in 1971–87 with two failures. All launches consisted of KH-8 satellites.[ citation needed ]
Titan IIIB rockets suffered four outright failures,and two partial failures. The first failure occurred on 26 April 1967 during the launch of a Gambit 3 satellite when the second stage suffered a sudden thrust decay which left it unable to achieve orbital velocity,sending the Agena and GAMBIT into the Pacific Ocean some 400 miles (644 km) downrange. It was not possible to determine the cause of the malfunction with certainty,but a fuel line obstruction was believed to be the most likely explanation. Martin-Marietta had no answers except to suggest implementing better quality control measures during assembly of the Titan vehicles. The next launch,on 20 June 1967 was a partial failure;due to a problem with the protective skirt on the second stage,a lower-than-planned orbit was achieved. On 24 October 1969 OPS 8455 was placed into a higher-than-planned orbit by another 23B due to an engine failing to cut off after completing its planned burn,however the payload was able to correct its own orbit.
On 16 February 1972,a Titan 33B failed to achieve orbit carrying a Jumpseat satellite. [ citation needed ]Another failure occurred later the same year,when on 20 May a Titan 24B malfunctioned during the launch of KH-8 #35. The Agena suffered a failure of a pneumatic regulator during ascent and reentered the atmosphere. Although it had been assumed debris would land near South Africa,pieces turned up in faraway Great Britain a few months later. The launch of KH-8 #39 on 26 June 1973 also failed to orbit when the Agena had a fuel valve failure,preventing engine start. A launch of a Jumpseat satellite on 24 April 1981 was a partial failure when the Agena failed to separate.
Titan was a family of United States expendable rockets used between 1959 and 2005. The Titan I and Titan II were part of the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fleet until 1987. The space launch vehicle versions contributed the majority of the 368 Titan launches,including all the Project Gemini crewed flights of the mid-1960s. Titan vehicles were also used to lift US military payloads as well as civilian agency reconnaissance satellites and to send interplanetary scientific probes throughout the Solar System.
Proton is an expendable launch system used for both commercial and Russian government space launches. The first Proton rocket was launched in 1965. Modern versions of the launch system are still in use as of 2023,making it one of the most successful heavy boosters in the history of spaceflight. The components of all Protons are manufactured in the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center factory in Moscow and Chemical Automatics Design Bureau in Voronezh,then transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome,where they are assembled at Site 91 to form the launch vehicle. Following payload integration,the rocket is then brought to the launch pad horizontally by rail,and raised into vertical position for launch.
The RM-81 Agena was an American rocket upper stage and satellite bus which was developed by Lockheed Corporation initially for the canceled WS-117L reconnaissance satellite program. Following the split-up of WS-117L into SAMOS and Corona for image intelligence,and MIDAS for early warning,the Agena was later used as an upper stage,and an integrated component,for several programs,including Corona reconnaissance satellites and the Agena Target Vehicle used to demonstrate rendezvous and docking during Project Gemini. It was used as an upper stage on the Atlas,Thor,Thorad and Titan IIIB rockets,and considered for others including the Space Shuttle and Atlas V. A total of 365 Agena rockets were launched between February 28,1959 and February 1987. Only 33 Agenas carried NASA payloads and the vast majority were for DoD programs.
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The SAMOS or SAMOS-E program was a relatively short-lived series of reconnaissance satellites for the United States in the early 1960s,also used as a cover for the initial development of the KH-7 GAMBIT system. Reconnaissance was performed with film cameras and television surveillance from polar low Earth orbits with film canister returns and transmittals over the United States. SAMOS was first launched in 1960 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Titan IV was a family of heavy-lift space launch vehicles developed by Martin Marietta and operated by the United States Air Force from 1989 to 2005. Launches were conducted from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base,California.
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Lockheed Martin Space is one of the four major business divisions of Lockheed Martin. It has its headquarters in Littleton,Colorado,with additional sites in Valley Forge,Pennsylvania;Sunnyvale,California;Santa Cruz,California;Huntsville,Alabama;and elsewhere in the United States and United Kingdom. The division currently employs about 20,000 people,and its most notable products are commercial and military satellites,space probes,missile defense systems,NASA's Orion spacecraft,and the Space Shuttle external tank.
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The Atlas E/F was an American expendable launch system and sounding rocket built using parts of decommissioned SM-65 Atlas missiles. It was a member of the Atlas family of rockets.
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The LR87 was an American liquid-propellant rocket engine used on the first stages of Titan intercontinental ballistic missiles and launch vehicles. Composed of twin motors with separate combustion chambers and turbopump machinery,it is considered a single unit and was never flown as a single combustion chamber engine or designed for this. The LR87 first flew in 1959.