An Atlas-Agena launching Lunar Orbiter 4
|Function||Expendable launch system|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Launch sites||LC-12, 13 & 14, CCAFS
SLC-3 & 4, Vandenberg
|First flight||26 February 1960|
|Last flight||27 June 1978|
The Atlas-Agena was an American expendable launch system derived from the SM-65 Atlas missile. It was a member of the Atlas family of rockets, and was used for 119 orbital launches between 1960 and 1978.
The Atlas-Agena was a two-and-a-half stage rocket, with a stage-and-a-half Atlas missile as the first stage, and an RM-81 Agena second stage. Initially, Atlas D missiles, redesignated as the LV-3, were used as the first stage These were later replaced by the standardised Atlas SLV-3, and its derivatives, the SLV-3A and B. The final Atlas-Agena launch used an Atlas E/F.
|Name||First launch||Last launch||Launches||Successes||Failures||Partial failures||Remarks|
|Atlas LV-3 Agena-A||1960-02-26||1961-01-31||4||2||2||0|
|Atlas LV-3 Agena-B||1961-07-12||1965-03-21||28||21||5||2|
|Atlas LV-3 Agena-D||1963-07-12||1965-07-20||15||15||0||0|
|Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D||1964-08-14||1967-11-05||47||41||5||1|
|Atlas SLV-3B Agena-D||1966-04-08||1||1||0||0|
|Atlas SLV-3 Agena-B||1966-06-07||1||1||0||0|
|Atlas SLV-3A Agena-D||1968-03-04||1978-04-08||12||11||1||0|
|Atlas E/F Agena D||1978-06-27||1||1||0||0|
On 1965-10-25 the Agena stage of an Atlas-Agena D failed to orbit the first Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (GATV), which was planned for use as the rendezvous target for the Gemini 6 mission. The failure of the GATV launch led NASA to instead have Gemini 6 rendezvous with another piloted spacecraft, Gemini 7.
Later on March 16, 1965 the Agena target vehicle for Gemini 8 was successful resulting with Gemini 8 performing the first successful docking in space; it was aborted shortly after due to thruster malfunction. The Agena was later used as the secondary Agena target for Gemini 10.
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