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Encyclopedia > Agena

The Agena was a rocket upper stage developed by Lockheed for the ill-fated WS-117L US reconnaissance satellite program. It lived on to see extensive use as the upper stage/spacecraft for the Corona spy satellite program and as an upper stage on the Thor, Atlas, and Titan boosters. It was also used by the manned Gemini program to practice rendezvous and docking (see Agena Target Vehicle). The Lockheed SR-71, remarkably advanced for its time and unsurpassed in many areas of performance The Lockheed U-2 first flew in 1955 providing much needed intelligence on Soviet bloc countries Lockheed Corporation was an aerospace company founded in 1912 which merged with Martin Marietta in 1995 to form... A spy satellite (officially referred to as a reconnaissance satellite or recon sat) is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications. ... KH-4B Corona satellite Recovery of Discoverer 14 return capsule (typical for the Corona series Diagram of J-1 type stereo / panoramic reciprocating Corona reconnaissance satellite camera system used on KH-4A missions from 1963 to 1969. ... Thor-Ablestar Thor was the United Statess first operational ballistic missile. ... Mercury Atlas 9 rocket and capsule on pad The Atlas is a venerable line of space launch vehicles built by Lockheed Martin. ... Titan is a family of U.S. expendable rockets. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A space rendezvous between two spacecraft, often between a spacecraft and a space station, is an orbital maneuver where the two arrive at the same orbit, make the orbital velocities the same, and bring them together (an approach maneuver, taxiing maneuver); it may or may not include docking. ... The Agena Target Vehicle was designed to develop and practice orbital rendezvous and docking in space, in preparation for the lunar mission. ...

An Agena outfitted as a Gemini program Agena Target Vehicle.
An Agena outfitted as a Gemini program Agena Target Vehicle.

It was 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter, three axis stabilized (for the benefit of the reconnaissance system cameras) and its Bell 8096 engine produced 16,000 lbf (71 kN) thrust using hydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide as propellants. The engine could be restarted multiple times in orbit. This engine started life as the power plant for the canceled rocket-propelled nuclear warhead pod for the Convair B-58 Hustler bomber. Agena was thus known as Hustler early in its development. Agena target satellite used in NASA Gemini program (see Gemini 10) Used in German wikipedia article Gemini Projekt. ... Hydrazine is a chemical compound with formula N2H4 used as a rocket fuel. ... Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) (1,1-Dimethylhydrazine) is a hypergolic rocket fuel ingredient, often used in combination with the oxidiser, nitrogen tetroxide. ... Nitrogen tetroxide (or Dinitrogen tetroxide) (N2O4) is a hypergolic propellant often used in combination with a hydrazine-based rocket fuel. ... The Convair B-58 Hustler was a high-speed jet bomber developed for the Strategic Air Command during the late 1950s. ...


There were at least three versions of the Agena:

69 kN thrust Bell 8048 engine, 120 second burn time, used on Thor and Atlas.
71 kN thrust Bell 8081 engine, 240 second burn time, used on Thor and Atlas. Launched early SAMOS and MIDAS military satellites and the Ranger lunar probes.
Proposed but never built.
71 kN thrust Bell 8096 engine, 265 second burn time, used on Thor, Atlas, and Titan. Launched early KH-7 GAMBIT spy satellites and the two Mariner Mars probes.

As a military reconnaissance spacecraft, much information on the project remains classified. The final Agena launch was of an Agena D on 12 February 1987, configured as the upper stage of a Titan 34B [1]. There is also a Samos in Middlesex County in the eastern part of Virginia, see Samos, Virginia. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... In general, a ranger is a keeper, guardian, or soldier that ranges over a region to protect the area or enforce law. ... Codenamed Gambit, the KH-7 was a reconnaissance satellite used by the United States from July 1963 to June 1967. ... Mariner can refer to The PBM Mariner flying boat The Mariner Space Program An archaic term for sailor This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1987 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Titan is a family of U.S. expendable rockets. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Agena AstroProducts - Telescopes, Eyepieces, Bincoculars and Accessories for the Astronomy Enthusiast with FREE US ... (285 words)
Agena AstroProducts is an online retailer of a wide range of high-quality telescopes, binoculars and accessories for astronomy enthusiasts.
Agena is owned and operated by an amateur astronomer with over 24 years of astronomy experience.
Agena AstroProducts 1.25" to 2" Focuser / Eyepiece Adapter with Brass Compression Ring
Agena D (206 words)
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.
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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