Atlas SLV-3X project

Michel Van

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
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13 August 2007
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from FUGHT International, 24 June 1965
page 1032

NASA is to develop a more powerful Atlas space booster for future
Agena and Centaur missions. The programme, designated the
SLV-3X, will include the following basic changes to be made in the
standard Atlas launch vehicle (SLV-3):—

(1) Propellant capacity will be increased by some 21,0001b by
making the top of the vehicle cylindrical rather than a truncated
cone. The length of the Atlas will not be changed but the increased
tankage will enable the Atlas to carry 15,0001b more liquid oxygen
and nearly 7,0001b more RP-1 kerosene fuel.

(2) Thrust of the three Atlas engines will be increased by the use
of an improved fuel injector and turbine. Use of a modified
Saturn H-l injector will increase the total thrust of the two booster
engines from 330,0001b to 350,0001b. Use of an already developed
turbine will increase the thrust of the sustainer engine from 57,000lb
to 65,0001b.

The work will be done by the Convair Division of General
Dynamics, San Diego, California. The United States Air Force
Space Systems Division is the procurement agency acting as
NASA's agent as in previous NASA procurements of Atlases.
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications has assigned
Atlas-Agena and Atlas-Centaur project responsibility to the Lewis
Research Center, Cleveland.
The modifications will use proven components to gain the
increased Atlas performance. An extensive ground test programme
including full duration engine firings is planned.
Bellcom study for Venus probe with Atlas SLV-3X as launcher


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SLV-3X, Atlas Space Launch Vehicle with Centaur Rocket Model found at LiveAuctioneers.

(22x3") A striking silver, two-piece General Dynamics contractor's model (by Topping) with an orange brown "Centaur" payload on a 6" metal base with descriptive plaque. Minor paint rubs on the base do not detract from this scarce, and seldom seen, model.

Another image of the SLV-3X model shown above.


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