First Launch: 1964-02-10. Last Launch: 1969-09-25. Number: 41 . Longitude: -110.08 deg. Latitude: 38.94 deg.
The first Athena test missile was launched from Green River, Utah, toward the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. The Athena research rocket was designed for the support of the Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) program. Subscale models of ballistic reentry vehicles would be flown on the Athenas to test reentry vehicle concepts and phenomena. This first missile only had two operational stages, and several system failures resulted in the premature impact of the missile some 11 miles from Durango, Colorado. This was the first of several hundred launches from Green River, Utah, to impact points in the US Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The Athena was designed to simulate the re-entry environment of an intercontinental ballistic missile and was one of the few examples of sustained interstate missile tests within the United States.