Titan 23B

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Titan 23B
Missing image
Titan 23B launching KH-8 reconnaissance satellite from Vandenberg AFB, CA. (USAF)
Stages 3
1 - 1st Stage Engines LR87-AJ-5
Thrust 430,000 lbf (1,913 kN)
Burn time 147 seconds
Fuels A-50 hydrazine/N204
2 - 2nd Stage Engine LR91-AJ-5
Thrust 100,000 lbf (445 kN)
Burn time 205 seconds
Fuels A-50 hydrazine/N204
3 - Agena D 3rd Stage Engine Bell XLR81-BA-9
Thrust 16,000 lbf (71.1 kN)
Burn time 240 seconds
Fuels Nitrogen Tetroxide/UDMH
Launch Vehicle 1st Launch July, 1966
Payload LEO Polar orbit 7,500 lb (3,000 kg)


Titan 23B is a medium-lift space launch vehicle used to carry payloads for the Air Force. The Titan 23B was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Its main payload was the GAMBIT (KH-8 reconnaissance) satellites.


The Titan 23B space launch vehicle is a three-stage liquid fueled booster, designed to provide a small-to-medium weight class capability. It is able to lift approximately 3,000 kg (7,500 lb) into a polar low-Earth circular orbit. The first stage consists of a ground ignited LR87 liquid propellant rocket, while the second stage consists of a LR91 liquid propellant rocket. The third stage is an Agena D XLR81-BA-9 liquid propellant rocket.

Various models of this Titan/Agena D rocket were called, "Titan 23B", "Titan 24B", "Titan 33B" and "Titan 34B"


The Titan rocket family was established in October 1955, when the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin (formerly the Martin Company) a contract to build an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It became known as the Titan I, the nation’s first two-stage ICBM and first underground silo-based ICBM. More than 140 Titan II ICBMs, once the vanguard of America’s strategic deterrent force, were built. Titan IIs also were flown in NASA’s Gemini manned space program in the mid-1960s. The Titan 23B is a derivative of the Titan II vehicle with an Agena D upper stage added.

  • Primary function: Launch vehicle used to lift medium class satellites into space
  • Builder: Lockheed-Martin Astronautics
  • Launch site: Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
  • First stage: Length: 70 ft (21 m)
  • Diameter: 10 feet
  • Engine thrust: 474,000 lbf (2,108 kN) vacuum
  • Weight: 258,000 lb (117,020 kg) Fueled
    • Empty weight: 10,500 lb (4,760 kg)
  • Second stage: Length: 24 ft (7.3 m)
  • Diameter: 10 ft (3.0 m)
  • Engine Thrust: 100,000 lbf (445 kN) vacuum
  • Weight: 64,000 lb (29,030 kg) Fueled
    • Empty weight: 6,100 lb (2,760 kg)
  • Third stage: Length: 24.8 ft (7.6 m)
  • Diameter: 5 ft (1.5 m)
  • Engine thrust: 16,000 lbf (71 kN) vacuum
  • Weight: 7160 kg (15800 lb) - fueled
    • Empty Weight: 2300 lb (1045 kg)
  • Guidance: Inertial
  • Subcontractor: Delco Electronics
  • Payload fairing: Diameter: 5 ft (1.5 m)
  • Length: 20 to 25 ft (6.1 to 7.6 m)
  • Skin and Stringer Construction -- Tri-Sector Design
  • Subcontractor: Boeing

  • Date deployed: July 1966

See also

  • KH-8 GAMBIT reconnaissance satellite.

External Links



United States Federal Government
This work is in the public domain because it is a work of the United States Federal Government. This applies worldwide. See Copyright.

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