Titan II

From Academic Kids

Titan II
Launch of a Titan II ICBM from underground silo. (USAF)
Launch of a Titan II ICBM from underground silo. (USAF)
Stages 2
1 - 1st Stage Engines LR87-AJ-5
Thrust 430,000 lbf (1,900 kN)
Burn time 156 seconds
Fuels A-50 hydrazine/N204
2 - 2nd Stage Engine LR91-AJ-5
Thrust 100,000 lbf (445 kN)
Burn time 180 seconds
Fuels A-50 hydrazine/N204
ICBM & Launch Vehicle 1st Launch April, 1962
Payload LEO 8,250 lb (3,750 kg)
Payload Escape 500 lb (227 kg)
Missing image
Titan II launch vehicle launching Gemini 11 (Sept. 12, 1966)
Missing image
Titan 23G launch vehicle (Sept. 5, 1988)


Titan II is a medium-lift space launch vehicle used to carry payloads for the Air Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These payloads include the USAF Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and the NOAA weather satellites. The Titan II is launched from Vandenberg AFB, California.


The Titan II space launch vehicle is a two-stage liquid fueled booster, designed to provide a small-to-medium weight class capability. It is able to lift approximately 4,200 pounds (1,900 kg) 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 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 II space-launch vehicles are decommissioned ICBMs that have been refurbished and equipped with hardware required for use as space launch vehicles. The Martin Marietta Astronautics Group was awarded a contract in January 1986 to refurbish, integrate, and launch fourteen Titan II ICBMs for government space launch requirements.

  • Tasks involved in converting the Titan II ICBMs into space launch vehicles include:
    • Modifying the forward structure of the second stage to accommodate payload
    • Manufacturing a new 10 foot (3 m) diameter payload fairing with variable lengths plus payload adapters
    • Refurbishing the Titan’s liquid rocket engines; upgrading the inertial guidance system; developing command, destruct and telemetry systems
    • Modifying Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Space Launch Complex-4 West to conduct the launches
    • Performing payload integration

Deactivation of the Titan II ICBM system began in July 1982 and was completed in June 1987. The deactivated missiles are now in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. The Air Force successfully launched the first Titan II space launch vehicle from Vandenberg AFB September 5, 1988. A single missile still rests in its silo (without its warhead) and is open to the public as the Titan Missile Museum. NASA’s Clementine spacecraft, which was launched aboard a Titan II in January 1994, discovered water on the moon in November 1996.

  • 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 feet (21.3 m)
  • Diameter: 10 feet (3 m)
  • Engine thrust: 474,000 lbf (2,100 kN) vacuum
  • Weight: 258,000 lb (117,020 kg) fueled
    • Empty weight: 10,500 lb (4,760 kg)
  • Second stage: length: 24 feet (7.3 m)
  • Diameter: 10 feet (3 m)
  • Engine thrust: 100,000 lbf (440 kN) vacuum
  • Weight: 64,000 lb (29,030 kg) fueled
    • Empty weight: 6,100 lb (2,760 kg)
  • Guidance: Inertial with Digital Computers
  • Subcontractor: Delco Electronics
  • Payload fairing: diameter: 10 feet (3 m)
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Skin and Stringer Construction -- Tri-Sector Design
  • Subcontractor: Boeing

  • Date deployed: September 1988

External links


Related content

Related development: Titan I

Comparable missiles: Atlas missile - Titan I

Designation sequence: AGM-22 - MIM-23 - RIM-24 - LGM-25 - AIM-26 - UGM-27 - AGM-28

Designation sequence: SM-65 - B-66 - GAM-67 - XB-68/SM-68 - RB-69 - XB-70 - SR-71

Related lists: List of missiles


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