Encyclopedia Astronautica
Bell 8096



agena04.jpg
Agena in orbit
Credit: NASA
hustler.jpg
Hustler Engine
Credit: Bell
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Agena Engine
Credit: Bell
Bell Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 71.2 kN. Out of production. Isp=292s. Used in Agena stage on top of Thor, Atlas, and Titan launch vehicles. First flight 1963.

Engine: 132 kg (291 lb). Chamber Pressure: 35.00 bar. Area Ratio: 45. Propellant Formulation: RFNA/UDMH. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 54.9772727272727. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 2.55. Coefficient of Thrust vacuum: .85. Restarts: 8.

AKA: YLR81-BA.
Status: Out of production.
Unfuelled mass: 132 kg (291 lb).
Diameter: 1.52 m (4.98 ft).
Thrust: 71.20 kN (16,006 lbf).
Specific impulse: 293 s.
Burn time: 265 s.
Number: 175 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Agena D American space tug. 205 launches, (1963) to (1987). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas Agena D; Thor Agena D; Titan 3B; Titan 34B. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas Agena D American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas D with further improved and lightened Agena upper stage. More...
  • Titan 3B American orbital launch vehicle. Titan core with Agena upper stage. Found to be more cost effective and higher performance than using Transtage. More...
  • Thorad Agena D SLV-2H Thor Agena upgraded with Long Tank Thor stage. Variant with straight tank from Delta was Thorad (Long Tank Augmented Thrust Thor Delta) More...
  • Titan 34B American orbital launch vehicle. Stretched Titan core, originally developed for Titan 3M MOL, with Agena D upper stage. Guidance provided by the Agena upper stage. The Agena and its payload were completely enclosed in a 3.05 m diameter shroud. 'Ascent Agena' seperated after orbital insertion and did not remain attached to the payload. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bell American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. ARC Liquid Propellant Division, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/UDMH Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

Associated Stages
  • Agena D Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,821/673 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. One of the real workhorses of US space exploration, Agena was a restartable upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. A mainstay of the US Air Force reconnaisance satellite program, it also boosted early NASA probes to the moon and planets. Agena played a key role in manned space flight as the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. It More...

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