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Titan II

Titan II was Martin Marietta's second ICBM program. Development began in 1960 with the first launch in March 1962 and the last launch in June 1976. Titan II was the first strategic missile that used storable hyperbolic propellants and an inertial guidance system. This weapon system was deployed in 1962 with deactivation completed in 1987.

Titan/Gemini The Titan II ICBM was converted into the Titan/Gemini space launch vehicle (SLV) by man-rating critical systems. It served as a significant stepping stone in the evolution of the US manned spaceflight program using expendable launch vehicles, culminating in the Apollo program. Twelve successful Gemini launches occurred between April 1964 and November 1966.

Titan II SLV After the Titan II weapon system was deactivated by the US government and the Air Force contracted with Martin Marietta to refurbish and modify the Titan II to serve as an SLV for use with single DOD payloads launched from the Western Space and Missile Center WSMC. The program goal was to make maximum use of Titan II weapon system resources and cause minimum modifications to the launch site, while incurring minimum costs and maintaining a high level of mission success.

Martin Marietta refurbished and modified decommissioned Titan 2 ICBMs for use as space launch vehicles. The company was awarded a contract in January of 1986 -- that runs through September 1995 -- to refurbish fourteen vehicles. Tasks involved in converting the Titan Il ICBMs into space launch vehicles include modifying the forward structure of the second stage to accommodate a 10-foot-diameter payload fairing with variable lengths; manufacturing the new fairing plus payload adapters; refurbishing the Titan's liquid rocket engines; upgrading the inertial guidance system; developing command, destruct and telemetry systems; modifying Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch Complex-4 West to conduct the launches; and performing payload integration.

Deactivation of the Titan II ICBM system began in July 1982 and was completed in June 1987. Deactivated missiles are in storage at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. Martin Marietta is responsible for transporting the Titan 11 ICBMs from California to its facilities near Denver, Colorado, for refurbishment.

The Titan II space launch vehicle consists of two stages, a payload adapter, and a payload fairing. Designed to provide a low-to-medium-weight launch capability into low-polar orbit, it will be able to lift about 4,800 pounds into a 100 nautical mile circular orbit. The Air Force successfully launched the first Titan 2 space launch vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on 5 September 1988.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:48:58 ZULU