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Encyclopedia > Agena Target Vehicle
An Agena Target Vehicle
An Atlas launch vehicle launches GATV-5006 into orbit for the Gemini 11 mission.
The ATDA in orbit as seen from Gemini 9A.

The Agena target vehicle (ATV) was a spacecraft used by NASA to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3000x3048, 2051 KB) Agena GATV for Gemini 10 en: Agena target satellite used in NASA Gemini program (see Gemini 10) de: Diese Agena Oberstufe dient als Zielsattelit für Kopplungstests mit dem Raumschiff Gemini 10. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3000x3048, 2051 KB) Agena GATV for Gemini 10 en: Agena target satellite used in NASA Gemini program (see Gemini 10) de: Diese Agena Oberstufe dient als Zielsattelit für Kopplungstests mit dem Raumschiff Gemini 10. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1169x1500, 2143 KB) Atlas Agena D launches GATV docking satellite for Gemini 11 manned mission, Cape Canaveral (September 12, 1966) original image caption: Atlas Agena target vehicle liftoff for Gemini 11 from Pad 14. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1169x1500, 2143 KB) Atlas Agena D launches GATV docking satellite for Gemini 11 manned mission, Cape Canaveral (September 12, 1966) original image caption: Atlas Agena target vehicle liftoff for Gemini 11 from Pad 14. ... Mercury Atlas 9 rocket and capsule on pad The Atlas is a venerable line of space launch vehicles built by Lockheed Martin. ... A Saturn V launch vehicle sends Apollo 15 on its way to the moon. ... Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... Image File history File links Gemini_atv_9. ... Image File history File links Gemini_atv_9. ... Gemini 9A (officially Gemini IX-A) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (IPA [ˈnæsə]) is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... 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. ... This article is about the series of human spaceflight missions. ...


Each ATV consisted of an Agena spacecraft built by Lockheed and a docking adapter built by McDonnell. The Agena was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 14 on top of an Atlas booster built by the Convair division of General Dynamics. The Agena first burn would occur shortly after shroud jettison and separation from the Atlas over the Atlantic Ocean. Over Ascension Island, a second burn would boost the Agena into a low circular orbit. The Agena was a rocket upper stage developed by Lockheed for the ill-fated WS-117L US reconnaissance satellite program. ... The Lockheed SR-71 was remarkably advanced for its time and remains unsurpassed in many areas of performance. ... The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation was an American aerospace manufacturer, based near St. ... An atlas rocket launches a manned Mercury spacecraft from LC-14. ... Mercury Atlas 9 rocket and capsule on pad The Atlas is a venerable line of space launch vehicles built by Lockheed Martin. ... General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD) is a defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2006 it is the sixth largest defense contractor in the world[2]. The company has changed markedly in the post-Cold War era of defense consolidation. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Capital Georgetown Largest city Georgetown Official languages English Government Dependency of St. ...


The McDonnell Gemini spacecraft would then launch (as close as 90 minutes) from Launch Complex 19 (both countdowns would proceed in parallel and required close synchronization) and, toward the end of the program, would dock with the Agena within the first orbit after launch. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The launch of Gemini 6A from LC-19. ...


The Gemini astronauts would then fly in a stabilized mode and perform a number of experiments:

  • letting the Agena stabilize the formation to save the capsule's propellants (on the first docking, during the Gemini 8 mission, a stuck nozzle on the capsule resulted in an emergency undock and the mission termination)
  • EVA and work on a tool panel (this required installing handrails on the next flight after one astronaut's heart rate exceeded safe limits due to the effort expended just holding on)
  • lighting the Agena engine and reaching a record orbital apogee of 738 miles.
  • undocking, unreeling a 50 foot (15.24 meter) nylon strap between the capsule and the Agena and flying in a "dumbbell" configuration with the Agena below the astronauts (to check the gravitational effect on the formation stability in uncontrolled mode. This is now known as Gravity-gradient stabilization.)
  • using a similar tether and a few thruster bursts to rotate the two craft around each other as an early test of artificial gravity.

After the Gemini capsule separated for the last time, the Agena remained in orbit for a short time and was used to verify the command system. Gemini 8 (officially Gemini VIII) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... Astronaut Bruce McCandless on an untethered EVA Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth and outside of his or her spacecraft. ... A pair of spinlock dumbbells with 2 kg plates. ... Gravity-gradient stabilization is a method of stabilising artificial satellites in orbit and maintaining optimum attitude for solar power, communications and sensors. ...


Agena target vehicle flight statistics

Agena Gemini mission Launched Reentered NSSDC ID Comments
GATV-5002 Gemini 6 October 25, 1965
15:00:04 UTC
October 25, 1965
15:06:20 UTC
GEM6T Exploded during launch. 3,261-kg
GATV-5003 Gemini 8 March 16, 1966
15:00:03 UTC
September 15, 1967 1966-019A First docking. 3,175-kg. Gemini 10 later
rendezvoused with Agena 8
GATV-5004 Gemini 9A May 17, 1966
15:12:00 UTC
May 17, 1966
15:19:00 UTC
GEM9TA Failed to orbit. 3,252-kg
ATDA #02186 Gemini 9A June 1, 1966
15:00:02 UTC
June 11, 1966 1966-046A Shroud did not separate. 794 kg. Built from
docking portion of Agena Target Vehicle and
Gemini reentry thruster section.
GATV-5005 Gemini 10 July 18, 1966
20:39:46 UTC
December 29, 1966 1966-065A Boosted Gemini 10 to a 763-km apogee. 3,175-kg.
GATV-5006 Gemini 11 September 12, 1966
13:05:01 UTC
December 30, 1966 1966-080A Boosted Gemini 11 to a record 1,374-km apogee.
3,175-kg. First demonstration of artificial gravity created in a microgravity environment.
GATV-5001A Gemini 12 November 11, 1966
19:07:58 UTC
December 23, 1966 1966-103A No apogee boost due to a defective main
Agena engine. 3,175-kg. Tether experiment.

Gemini 6A (officially Gemini VI-A) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 8 (officially Gemini VIII) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 75th day of the year (76th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 9A (officially Gemini IX-A) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 9A (officially Gemini IX-A) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 10 (officially Gemini X) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Gemini 12 (officially Gemini XII) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 357th day of the year (358th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Gemini 6/Agena target vehicle 5002 systems test evaluation (PDF) December 1965
  • Gemini 8 Docks with Agena Video

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (1303 words)
To provide the Gemini spacecraft with a rendezvous and docking target, Agena D rocket stages were modified with the addition of a docking collar, status panel display, and restart capabilities for the Gemini program.
The Gemini-ATV Status Panel (ASP), was mounted on the forward end of the Target Docking Adapter of the Agena Target Vehicle where it was visible to the astronauts in the Gemini spacecraft during and after the docking maneuver.
Originally, only eight Agena parameters were to be displayed in the Gemini spacecraft; however, the number of parameters increased to the point that the spacecraft no longer had the space or weight capability to accommodate them.
Project Gemini - A Chronology. Part 3 (B) (9471 words)
GATV 5003 was to be the target vehicle for Gemini VIII.
Gemini Agena target vehicle 5005 was mated to the target docking adapter (TDA) in Hanger E at Cape Kennedy.
The Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) attained a near-circular, 162- by 157-nautical-mile orbit.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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