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Atlas-E/-F OV1

Atlas-F OV1 (OV1 17, OV1 17A,
OV1 18 and OV1 19) [USAF]

The Atlas-E/F OV1 was unique system to launch small research satellites, where each satellite had its own independent OV1 upper stage. It replaced the Atlas-D OV1 combination.

The Convair (General Dynamics) built OV1 consisted of a FW-4S (Altair-3)solid rocket motor and an hydrogen-peroxide attitude control system with 12 nozzles inherited from the Scout rocket. The attitude control system performed separation from the Atlas, oriented the payload stack and provided stabilization, when the solid motor injected the satellite into orbit.

When the Atlas-D first stage was replaced with surplus Atlas-F boosters, the original OV1 launch enclosure was also discarded and replaced by a payload adaptor inherited from the Atlas-E/-F Trident used in the RMP-B reentry test program and a new 2.13 m diameter payload fairing with lenght of 4.94 m built by General Dynamics. This shrowd allowed the accomodation of two or three OV1 propulsion modules side-by-side and also allowed more voluminous payloads.

Four of these vehicles were flown, all successful.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2
Atlas-E/F OV1 Atlas-E/F OV1 / FW-4S (Altair-3)
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Atlas-E/F OV1 (each OV1-PM) - 363 - - - -
Nr  TNr    Vehicle                  Serial         Date          LS             Payload

355   1    Atlas-F OV1 (2×)         107F           06.04.1968    Va ABRES-A2    OV1 13 / OV1 14
362   2    Atlas-F OV1 (2×)         75F            11.07.1968    Va ABRES-A2    OV1 15 (SPADES) / LOADS 1 (OV1 16)
373   3    Atlas-F OV1 (3×)         104F           18.03.1969    Va ABRES-A2    OV1 17 / OV1 18 / OV1 19 / Orbiscal 2 (OV1 17A)
395   4    Atlas-F OV1 (2×)         76F            07.08.1971    Va BMRS-A2     OV1 20 / LOADS 2 / OV1 21 / RTDS / Gridsphere 1 / Gridsphere 2 /
                                                                                Mylar Balloon / Rigidsphere / LCS 4

Launch sites:

Va  = Vandenberg AFB, California, USA USA