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OV4 3

OV4 3 [GDK]

The OV4-3 (Orbiting Vehicle 4-3) payload consisted mainly of a Titan-1 oxidizer tank representing the shape and aerodynamics of the planned MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratoy). It was fixed to the Transtage, so its dimension ammounted to a lenght of 17.5 m. Also 680 kg of technology experiments, called project "Manifold", were added to the oxidizer tank:

  • 2 Micrometeroite detectors,
  • ORBIS-Low beacon,
  • biological cell grow experiment,
  • H2/O2 fuelcell,
  • experimental thermal control system,
  • acoustic fuel monitoring system,
  • dummy attitude control system.

The satellite was spin stabilized after Transtage shutdown. On the upper end, a Gemini B capsule was mounted during launch and released on a suborbital trajectory. Also inside the Gemini B adapter were three small satellites: OV1 6, OV4 1R and OV4 1T. OV4-3 worked for 30 days (75 days were planned).

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: US Air Force (USAF)
Contractors: Martin Marietta
Equipment: see above
Configuration: Titan-1 oxidizer tank fixed on Transtage
Propulsion: none after Transtage shutdown
Power: Batteries
Lifetime: 75 days (planned), 30 days operational
Mass: 9680 kg
Orbit: 298 km × 305 km, 32.82°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
OV4 3 (MOL Mockup, OPS 0855) 1966-099A 03.11.1966 CC LC-40 Titan-3C with OV1 6, OV4 1R, OV4 1T, Gemini B *


  • Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles: Orbiting Vehicle (OV)
  • J. W. Powell and G. R. Richards, “The Orbiting Vehicle series of satellites”, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Volume 40, pp.417-426, 1987.

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