Encyclopedia Astronautica
1965.11.12 - A symposium on hypergolic rocket ignition at altitude was held at Lockheed.


Because too little diagnostic information had been obtained from the flight of Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) 5002 to determine the exact nature of the probable hard start, it was not certain that the proposed modification - a return to oxidizer lead - would definitely prevent a recurrence of the malfunctions.

Sixteen propulsion specialists (brought together from Government, industrial, and university organizations) assembled for the symposium and concentrated on clarifying the hard-start phenomenon, isolating possible hard-start mechanisms of the Agena engine, and determining meaningful supporting test programs. They agreed with earlier conclusions on the probable cause of the failure. Their recommendations, with Lockheed's analysis of the GATV 5002 failure, were combined into a proposed GATV engine modification and test program that was presented to Air Force Space Systems Division on November 15.

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