Encyclopedia Astronautica
Titan 2G


American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Space launch version, obtained through minimal refurbishment of decommissioned ICBM's.

The decommissioned ICBM's received a new payload interfaces (a conical structure that provided 0.91 m, 1.42 m, and 3.05 m payload ring adapters), an attitude control system taken from the Titan 3, replacement of the second-stage verniers with retrorockets to improve payload separation, and a Titan 3 fairing, 3.05 m diameter and 6.1 to 9.2 m long. With solid propellant kick stages, the Titan 2G could put 3,028 kg into a 546 km sun synchronous orbit, of 1,043 kg into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The Titan 2 ICBM had been outfitted with a Delco Carousel- type guidance similar to that used in the Titan 3 while it was still deployed as a ballistic missile. That same guidance system, using the same equipment was used on the Titan 2 space booster, modified to handle telemetry. These guidance systems each had thousands of hours of operating time as a result of use on ICBM's and probably set an operating time record for such space launch hardware.

The Titan 2 vehicles were not completely dismantled as was done with the Atlas E and Atlas F space boosters. A new rate gyro package was added to the second stage (after testing proved that using just the output from the HIG gyros would not work - and by that time the first vehicle had already been delivered to Vandenberg AFB. The top of the second stage was modified for the 3.05-m-diameter fairing, destruct, tracking, and telemetry equipment were added, but that was about all. The engines were test fired but not overhauled.

Although 55 surplus ICBM's were available for use as space launchers, only the original 14 contracted in 1986-1987 were ever refurbished and launched, due to the inexplicably high cost of the minimal refurbishment.

LEO Payload: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.60 degrees. Payload: 2,177 kg (4,799 lb) to a 185 km polar orbit. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1993-10-05. Last Fail Date: 1993-10-05. Launch Price $: 34.000 million in 1987 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 26.000 million in 1994 dollars. Total Number Built: 131.

AKA: Titan II SLV; SLV-5.
Gross mass: 154,000 kg (339,000 lb).
Payload: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb).
Height: 31.40 m (103.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).
Thrust: 2,090.00 kN (469,850 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 1988.09.05.
Last Launch: 2003.10.18.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • IS-A Russian military anti-satellite system. 22 launches, 1967.10.27 (Cosmos 185) to 1982.06.18 (Cosmos 1379). First operational ASAT. Tested in 1967-1971 and deployed through the late 1970's. Design as revised by Yangel and Korolev from Chelomei's original. More...
  • Tiros N American earth weather satellite. 6 launches, 1978.10.13 (Tiros N) to 2002.06.24 (NOAA 17). Tiros N was part of the ongoing US series of polar-orbiting weather satellites. These were preceded by the TIROS series and the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-2 American earth weather satellite. 9 launches, 1982.12.21 (AMS 5) to 1997.04.04 (USA 131). DMSP 5D-2 was the military's sixth generation of weather satellites. More...
  • Singleton American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 3 launches, 1988.09.05 (USA 32) to 1992.04.25 (USA 81). Signals intelligence satellite; possibly some kind of imaging also done. On-board propulsion boosts spacecraft to 800 km operating orbit. More...
  • Landsat 6 American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1993.10.05. Landsat 6 was designed to continue the Landsat program and carried an improved suite of instruments. More...
  • ISAS Interstage Adapter Subsystem, consisting of the STAR-37M solid rocket motor, the Interstage Adapter for Clementine, and radiation detectors. It transmitted radiation data on the Van Allen Radiation belts for three months. American military technology satellite. One launch, 1994.01.25. More...
  • Clementine American lunar orbiter. One launch, 1994.01.25. Clementine was jointly sponsored by BMDO and NASA as the Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE). More...
  • QuikScat American earth sea satellite. One launch, 1999.06.20. Built under a NASA rapid delivery contract. Carried the SeaWinds scatterometer for remote sensing of ocean winds. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-3 American earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1999.12.12 (USA 147) to 2009-10-18. Military spacecraft similar in design to the civilian NOAA weather satellites. More...

See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • DMSP The first CORONA photos in August 1960 convinced authorities that knowledge of cloud cover over Russia was necessary and could be obtained only via satellite. Since the civilian TIROS program could not yet meet the requirement, the Director, National Reconnaissance Office authorized an 'interim' effort - the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The satellite series continued to be updated and served into the 21st Century. More...
  • Tiros TIROS spacecraft were the beginning of a long series of polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. TIROS was followed by the TOS (TIROS Operational System) series, and then the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series, and later the NOAA series. TIROS spacecraft were developed by GSFC and managed by ESSA (Environmental Science Services Administration). The objective was to establish a global weather satellite system. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC4W Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-3 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt in 1966 to handle Titan 3B with various military payloads. From 1988 used to launch refurbished surplus Titan 2 ICBM's in space launch role. More...

Associated Stages
  • Titan 2-1 N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 117,866/6,736 kg. Thrust 2,172.23 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 296 seconds. More...
  • Titan 2-2 N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 28,939/2,404 kg. Thrust 444.82 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds. More...

Titan 2G Chronology


1988 September 5 - . 09:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-1 / M68B-56 + M68B-98.
  • USA 32 - . Payload: SBWASS R1. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Singleton. USAF Sat Cat: 19460 . COSPAR: 1988-078A. Apogee: 292 km (181 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 85.0000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Summary: New class of signals intelligence satellite; possibly some kind of imaging also done. On-board propulsion boosts spacecraft to 800 km operating orbit..

1989 September 6 - . 01:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-2 / M68B-99 + M68B-75.
  • USA 45 - . Payload: SBWASS R2. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Singleton. USAF Sat Cat: 20220 . COSPAR: 1989-072A. Summary: Signals intelligence. Reentered from initial parking orbit of 200 km after failure of on-board boost motor..

1992 April 25 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-3 / M68B-102 / 65-10646.
  • USA 81 - . Payload: SBWASS R3. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Singleton. USAF Sat Cat: 21949 . COSPAR: 1992-023A. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi). Perigee: 145 km (90 mi). Inclination: 84.9000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Summary: Signals intelligence satellite; possibly some kind of imaging also done. On-board propulsion boosts spacecraft to 800 km operating orbit..

1993 October 5 - . 17:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-5 / M68B-65 / 63-7720. FAILURE: Star-37XFP-ISS kick-motor malfunction.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Landsat 6 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 6. Decay Date: 1993-05-10 . COSPAR: F931005A. Apogee: 724 km (449 mi).

1994 January 25 - . 16:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-11 / M68B-67 + M68B-89.
  • Clementine 1 - . Payload: Clementine 1 / DSPSE-ISA [Star-37FM]. Mass: 424 kg (934 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Clementine. USAF Sat Cat: 22973 . COSPAR: 1994-004A. Apogee: 409,890 km (254,690 mi). Perigee: 804 km (499 mi). Inclination: 63.8000 deg. Period: 16,158.80 min. SDIO sensor technology demonstration; mapped lunar surface; planned asteroid flyby cancelled due to spacecraft failure. After two Earth flybys, lunar insertion was achieved on February 21. Lunar mapping took place over approximately two months, in two parts. The first part consisted of a 5 hour elliptical polar orbit with a perilune of about 400 km at 28 degrees S latitude. After one month of mapping the orbit was rotated to a perilune of 29 degrees N latitude, where it remained for one more month. This allowed global imaging as well as altimetry coverage from 60 degrees S to 60 degrees N. After leaving lunar orbit, a malfunction in one of the on-board computers on May 7 at 14:39 UTC (9:39 AM EST) caused a thruster to fire until it had used up all of its fuel, leaving the spacecraft spinning at about 80 RPM with no spin control. This made the planned continuation of the mission, a flyby of the near-Earth asteroid Geographos, impossible. The spacecraft remained in geocentric orbit and continued testing the spacecraft components until the end of mission. Additional Details: here....
  • ISA - . Payload: ISA. Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Class: Technology. Type: Military technology satellite. Decay Date: 1994-06-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 22987 . COSPAR: 1994-004C. Apogee: 126,958 km (78,887 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 65.8000 deg. Period: 3,075.57 min.

1997 April 4 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-6 / M68B-106 / 66-4317.
  • USA 131 - . Payload: DMSP 5D-2 F-14. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: RCA. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 24753 . COSPAR: 1997-012A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 842 km (523 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min.

1998 May 13 - . 15:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-12 / M68B-72 + M68B-80 + M68B-84.
  • NOAA 15 - . Payload: NOAA K. Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Manufacturer: RCA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Advanced Tiros N . USAF Sat Cat: 25338 . COSPAR: 1998-030A. Apogee: 824 km (512 mi). Perigee: 807 km (501 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.20 min. NOAA K carried a new microwave sensor in addition to the standard optical/near-infrared radiometers and imagers and the SARSAT search and rescue package. It was the first NOAA launch to use the Titan 23G launch vehicle, a refurbished ICBM. Titan 23G-12 placed NOAA K into a suborbital trajectory 6 minutes after launch. A Star 37XFP solid motor on the satellite fired at apogee to put NOAA K in orbit.

1999 June 20 - . 02:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-7 / M68B-75 / 63-7730.
  • QuikScat - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Manufacturer: Ball. Class: Earth. Type: Sea satellite. Spacecraft: QuikScat. USAF Sat Cat: 25789 . COSPAR: 1999-034A. Apogee: 802 km (498 mi). Perigee: 802 km (498 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. NASA's QuikScat carried the SeaWinds scatterometer for remote sensing of ocean winds. The Titan 2ís second stage shut down at 02:20 GMT and then coasted to apogee still attached to the QuikScat. The Titan second stage vernier thrusters ignited at apogee to raise perigee, leaving QuikScat in a 280 km x 813 km x 98.7 degree parking orbit. The QuikScat's own hydrazine propulsion system then fired to raise the perigee over a period of weeks.

1999 December 12 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-8 / M68B-44 + M68B-94.
  • USA 147 - . Payload: DMSP 5D-3 F-15. Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: RCA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 25991 . COSPAR: 1999-067A. Apogee: 846 km (525 mi). Perigee: 830 km (510 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: First launch of the Block 5D-3 military weather satellite. Satellite F-15 was placed in an initial suborbital trajectory. The Star 37S kick motor on the satellite fired 13 minutes after launch for orbit insertion..

2000 September 21 - . 10:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-13 / M68B-39 + M68B-96.
  • NOAA 16 - . Payload: NOAA-L. Mass: 1,476 kg (3,254 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Advanced Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 26536 . COSPAR: 2000-055A. Apogee: 867 km (539 mi). Perigee: 853 km (530 mi). Inclination: 98.7930 deg. Period: 102.06 min. Launch attempt on September 20 scrubbed. The NOAA polar orbit weather satellite, an Advanced Tiros N with a suite of imaging and sounding instruments. The two-stage Titan II launch vehicle, serial 23G-13, put NOAA-L into a suborbital -2500 x 800 km x 98.0 deg trajectory. The spacecraft's Thiokol Star 37XFP solid motor fired at apogee to circularize the sun-synchronous orbit at 800 km.

2002 June 24 - . 18:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-14 / M68B-72 + M68B-92 + M68B-71.
  • NOAA 17 - . Payload: NOAA-M. Mass: 1,475 kg (3,251 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros N. USAF Sat Cat: 27453 . COSPAR: 2002-032A. Apogee: 820 km (500 mi). Perigee: 802 km (498 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Launch delayed from August 2001. The refurbished Titan 2 missile put the NOAA M satellite on a suborbital trajectory of about -2500 x 820 km x 98 deg. at 1829 UTC. At 1837 UTC the NOAA M propulsion module fired its ATK/Thiokol Star 37XFP solid motor for the orbit insertion burn, followed by a hydrazine trim burn to put the satellite in an 807 x 822 km x 98.8 deg operational orbit. NOAA M became NOAA 17 on entering service with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the primary morning weather satellite, supplementing the NOAA 16 afternoon satellite. Built by Lockheed Martin, NOAA M carried weather imagers and microwave and infrared sounders, as well as a SARSAT search-and-rescue package. It had an on-orbit mass of 1475 kg.

2003 January 6 - . 14:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-4 / M68B-105 / 66-4316.
  • Coriolis - . Payload: SA-200HP, P98-2. Mass: 828 kg (1,825 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Coriolis. USAF Sat Cat: 27640 . COSPAR: 2003-001A. Apogee: 936 km (582 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 98.7362 deg. Period: 101.55 min. Coriolis was an Air Force Space Test Program three-year meteorological science mission to demonstrate the viability of using polarimetry to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction from space, and to demonstrate predictions of geomagnetic disturbances through continuous observation of Coronal Mass Ejections. Launch delayed from August 22, November 15, December 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2002 and January 5, 2003.

2003 October 18 - . 16:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-9 / M68B-107 / 66-4318/Star 37XFP.
  • USA 172 - . Payload: DMSP-16. Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 28054 . COSPAR: 2003-048A. Apogee: 853 km (530 mi). Perigee: 843 km (523 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Summary: Final Titan 2 launch, LV dubbed "Cindy Marie". Originally to have launched January 2001. Launch postponed 12 times due to spacecraft and launch vehicle problems..

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