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2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

MINUTEMAN I The Minuteman was the first American intercontinental ballistic missile to use solid rather than liquid fuel. It possessed all the virtues of the Titan II, and its use of solid fuel gave it two additional advantages: greater simplicity and economy. The first Minuteman flight test missile was launched on 1 February 1961, and the first two flights of Minuteman missiles were turned over to the Strategic Air Command on 11 December 1962. By the end of 1965, Minuteman missiles had been deployed at four bases in the north central United States, and the older, less efficient, and less economical Atlas and Titan I missiles had been retired from the active inventory. MINUTEMAN II AND III Just as the Atlas and the Titan I had been replaced by the Titan II and the Minuteman, the original Minuteman was itself replaced by the more advanced Minuteman II and Minuteman III. The Minuteman II incorporated a new, larger second stage, improved guidance, greater range and payload capacity, and greater resistance to the effects of nuclear blasts. The Minuteman III, for its part, possessed an improved third stage, employed more penetration aids to counter anti-ballistic missile defense systems, and was equipped with up to three independently targetable warheads. By the end of 1975, 450 Minuteman IIs and 550 Minuteman IIIs were in place and ready for operation at six bases in the north central United States. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

Like the original Titan I, Titan II was a two-stage, liquid fuel missile. Unlike its predecessor, however, it used storable propellants, an all-inertial guidance system, and it could be launched from hardened underground silos. These improvements gave the Titan II quicker reaction time, greater survivability, and improved performance. The first Titan II unit achieved operational status in June 1963 and the last in December of the same year. The Air Force issued direction to deactivate Titan II missiles on 30 April 1982. The 55 operational missiles were removed from their silos during 1982-1987 and placed into storage for possible conversion to space launch vehicles. (USAF photo)
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2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

Like the original Titan I, Titan II was a two-stage, liquid fuel missile. Unlike its predecessor, however, it used storable propellants, an all-inertial guidance system, and it could be launched from hardened underground silos. These improvements gave the Titan II quicker reaction time, greater survivability, and improved performance. The first Titan II unit achieved operational status in June 1963 and the last in December of the same year. The Air Force issued direction to deactivate Titan II missiles on 30 April 1982. The 55 operational missiles were removed from their silos during 1982-1987 and placed into storage for possible conversion to space launch vehicles. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Titan IIIC-11 successfully launches 7 Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) satellites and 1 experimental satellite from Cape Canaveral on 16 June 1966. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Titan IIIA-6 with upper stage Transtage 4 rises from Launch Complex 20 at Cape Canaveral on 6 May 1965. This was the fourth and last launch of a Titan IIIA, the developmental configuration of the Titan III. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena A 1008, containing the first MIDAS payload for space-based missile detection, is hoisted up the side of the gantry for mating with Atlas 29D on 4 February 1960. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena B 1061 for Discoverer XVI is prepared for integration and launch on 26 October 1960. This was the first use of an Agena B. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena A 1057 for Discoverer XIII is checked out by Air Force and Lockheed technicians before launch on 10 August 1960. Its reentry capsule provided the first successful recovery from orbit. (USAF photo)
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Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

The first Thor Agena A launch vehicle (Thor 163 with Agena 1022) sits on Pad 75-3-4 at Vandenberg AFB before launching Discoverer I on 28 February 1959. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas I Centaur (AC-75) successfully launches the Navy's UHF Follow-On satellite F2 from Cape Canaveral on 3 September 1993. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas IIA Centaur (AC-118) successfully launches the DSCS III satellite B7 from Cape Canaveral on 31 July 1995. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas II Centaur (AC-112) successfully launches the Navy's UHF Follow-On satellite F4 from Cape Canaveral on 28 January 1995. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

A Delta II booster successfully launches GPS II-10 from Cape Canaveral on 26 November 1990. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An IUS launches NASA's Magellan mission to Venus from the Space Shuttle on 4 May 1989. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

IUS-1 enters thermal vacuum testing at Boeing's Seattle facility in May 1982. It launched NASA's TDRSS-A satellite from the Space Shuttle on 4 April 1983. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

The Space Shuttle’s test orbiter Enterprise is used for a fit check at SLC-6, the almost completed STS launch facility at Vandenberg AFB, in November 1984. (USAF photo)
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Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

A refurbished Titan II missile launches the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NOAA 15 weather satellite from Vandenberg AFB on 13 May 1998. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

DMSP Block 5C satellite mated to Thor Burner IIA launch vehicle during addition of payload fairing at Vandenberg AFB, about 1972-1976. (USAF photo)
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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

NASA’s early TIROS satellite, showing cameras on flat side. TIROS was the technological ancestor of all weather satellites, including DMSP. (Photograph courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce)
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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

The first weather satellite was NASA’s Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) I, launched by AFBMD on 1 April 1960 using a Thor Able rocket. This photograph shows the satellite mated to the upper stage. (Photograph courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce)
Defense ...


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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Artist’s concept of DMSP Block 5D-2 satellite in orbit. The Block 5D-2 version was launched 9 times during 1982-1997. (USAF photo)
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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Artist’s concept of DMSP Block 5D-3 satellite in orbit. Launches of the Block 5D-3 version began in 1999. (USAF photo)
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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Model of DMSP Block 5D-1 satellite in orbit. The Block 5D-1 version was launched 5 times during 1976-1980. (USAF photo)
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Early Reconnaissance SatellitesEarly  ...
Early Reconnaissance Satellites

A pair of Advanced Vela satellites is stacked in launch configuration for testing about 1968. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

    

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