Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas LV-3B / Mercury



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Atlas D Mercury
Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva
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Atlas D Mercury BW
Credit: NASA
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Atlas A/B/D
Test missiles Atlas A and Atlas B; Atlas D-Mercury
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Atlas D
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Atlas D Mercury
Credit: NASA
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Mercury Atlas 9
Credit: NASA
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Mercury Atlas 5
Credit: NASA
American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas D modified for use in Project Mercury.

LEO Payload: 1,360 kg (2,990 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.

Stage Data - Atlas LV-3B / Mercury

  • Stage 0. 1 x Atlas MA-2. Gross Mass: 3,050 kg (6,720 lb). Empty Mass: 3,050 kg (6,720 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,517.422 kN (341,130 lbf). Isp: 282 sec. Burn time: 135 sec. Isp(sl): 248 sec. Diameter: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 0.0000 m ( ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 2. Engine: XLR-89-5. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas D. Gross Mass: 113,050 kg (249,230 lb). Empty Mass: 2,347 kg (5,174 lb). Thrust (vac): 363.218 kN (81,655 lbf). Isp: 309 sec. Burn time: 303 sec. Isp(sl): 215 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Length: 21.20 m (69.50 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: XLR-105-5. Status: Out of Production.

AKA: LV-3B.
Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 116,100 kg (255,900 lb).
Payload: 1,360 kg (2,990 lb).
Height: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,587.19 kN (356,815 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Mercury American manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1960.01.21 (Mercury LJ-1B) to 1963.05.15 (Mercury MA-9). America's first man-in-space project. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the orbital payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas. More...

Associated Engines
  • XLR105-5 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 363.2 kN. Atlas D. Atlas Sustainer. Gas generator, pump-fed. Shared turbopumps for booster engines. Isp=309s. First flight 1958. More...
  • XLR89-5 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 758.7 kN. Atlas D. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Shared turbopumps for booster engines. Isp=282s. First flight 1958. More...

See also
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Convair American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Convair, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Atlas D Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 113,050/2,347 kg. Thrust 363.22 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 309 seconds. More...
  • Atlas MA-2 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,050/3,050 kg. Thrust 1,517.42 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 282 seconds. More...

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