The Titan 2 rocket
U.S. AIR FORCE FACT SHEET
Posted: October 10, 2003

  Titan 2
A Titan 2 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex-4 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Photo: U.S. Air Force
 
The Titan 2 space launch vehicle is a modified Titan 2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that can lift approximately 4,200 pounds into low-Earth polar orbit. The rocket consists of two liquid-propellant stages, a payload adapter and payload fairing. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have successfully launched 12 Titan 2 Space Launch Vehicles from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Lockheed Martin built more than 140 Titan ICBMs, once the vanguard of America's nuclear deterrent force, for the Air Force. Ten manned and two unmanned Titan 2s were flown as space launch vehicles in NASA's Gemini program in the mid-1960s. Deactivation of the Titan 2 ICBM system began in July 1982. The last missile was taken from its silo at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., June 23, 1987. Deactivated missiles are in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company's Astronautics Operations has modified 14 Air Force Titan 2 ICBMs under contract to the Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center for use as space launch vehicles. This includes modifying the forward structure of the second stage to accommodate a 10-foot diameter payload fairing with variable lengths; manufacturing the new fairings plus payload adapters; refurbishing the Titans' liquid rocket engines; upgrading the inertial guidance systems; developing command, destruct and telemetry systems; performing payload integration; and modifying Space Launch Complex 4 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to conduct the launches.

The Titan 2 and Titan 4B Space Launch Vehicle programs are managed by the Titan systems program office at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base. The Space and Missile Systems Center is a unit of the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and is the center of technical excellence for researching, developing and purchasing military space systems. SMC is also responsible for on-orbit check-out, testing, sustainment and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems.

Titan 2 facts  
First stage 70 feet long,
10 feet diameter
Engine thrust 474,000 pounds (vacuum)
Second stage 40 feet long,
10 feet diameter
Engine thrust 100,000 pounds (vacuum)
Payload fairing 25 feet long,
10 feet diameter
Fairing design Aluminum skin-stringer tri-sector design
Guidance Inertial Guidance System Consisting of Inertial Measurement Unit and Missile Guidance Computer
Source: U.S. Air Force fact sheet

Titan 2s also were flown in NASA's Gemini manned space program in the mid-1960s.

The Titan 2 space-launch vehicles are decommissioned ICBMs that have been refurbished and equipped with hardware required for use as space launch vehicles.

The Martin Marietta Astronautics Group was awarded a contract in January 1986 to refurbish, integrate, and launch fourteen Titan 2 ICBMs for government space launch requirements.

Tasks involved in converting the Titan 2 ICBMs into space launch vehicles include:

  • Modifying the forward structure of the second stage to accommodate payload

  • Manufacturing a new 10-foot diameter payload fairing with variable lengths plus payload adapters

  • Refurbishing the Titan's liquid rocket engines; upgrading the inertial guidance system; developing command, destruct and telemetry systems

  • Modifying Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Space Launch Complex-4 West to conduct the launches

  • Performing payload integration

Deactivation of the Titan 2 ICBM system began in July 1982 and was completed in June 1987. The deactivated missiles are now in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. The Air Force successfully launched the first Titan 2 space launch vehicle from Vandenberg AFB September 5, 1988.

Flight data file
Vehicle: Titan 2 (G-9)
Payload: DMSP 5D-3-F16
Launch date: Oct. 18, 2003
Launch window: 1617-1627 GMT (12:17-12:27 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-4W, Vandenberg AFB, California
Satellite broadcast: none

Pre-launch briefing
Mission preview - Our story recapping the saga of the DMSP F16 satellite and the series of problems that have kept it grounded.

Titan 2 finale - Our story looking at the last Titan 2 rocket launch.

Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.

DMSP - General overview of the U.S. military weather satellite program.

Titan 2 - Description of the former ICBM missile converted to a space launch vehicle.

Titan 2 history - Chart with listing of previous Titan 2 SLV flights.


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