AS-104
Saturn SA8 launch.jpg
Launch of Saturn AS-104
Mission typeSpacecraft aerodynamics;
micrometeroid investigation
OperatorNASA
COSPAR ID1965-039B
SATCAT no.1385
Mission duration5,275 days[citation needed]
Distance travelled3,282,050,195 kilometers (2.039371443×109 mi)
Orbits completed~79,790
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftApollo BP-26
Pegasus 2
Launch mass1,451.5 kilograms (3,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 25, 1965, 07:35:01 (1965-05-25UTC07:35:01Z) UTC
RocketSaturn I SA-8
Launch siteCape Kennedy LC-37B
End of mission
Decay dateJuly 8, 1989 (1989-07-09)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude511 kilometers (318 mi)
Apogee altitude739 kilometers (459 mi)
Inclination31.7 degrees
Period97.2 minutes
Epoch4 July 1965[1]
← AS-103
AS-105 →
 

AS-104 was the fourth orbital test of a boilerplate Apollo spacecraft, and the second flight of the Pegasus micrometeroid detection satellite. It was launched by SA-8, the ninth Saturn I carrier rocket.

Objectives

The primary mission objective was to demonstrate the launch vehicle iterative guidance mode and evaluation of system accuracy. The launch trajectory was similar to that of mission AS-103.

The Saturn launch vehicle (SA-8) and payload were similar to those of mission AS-103 except that a single reaction control engine assembly was mounted on the boilerplate service module (BP-26) and the assembly was instrumented to acquire additional data on launch environment temperatures. This assembly also differed from the one on the AS-101 mission in that two of the four engines were of a prototype configuration instead of all engines being simulated.

Launch

This was the first nighttime launch in the Saturn I series. A built-in 35 minute hold was used to ensure that launch time coincided with the opening of the launch window.

AS-104 was launched from Cape Kennedy Launch Complex 37B at 02:35:01 a.m. EST (07:35:01 GMT) on May 25. 1965, The launch was normal and the payload was inserted into orbit approximately 10.6 minutes after lift-off. The total mass placed in orbit, including the spacecraft, Pegasus B, adapter, instrument unit, and S-IV stage, was 34,113 pounds (15,473 kg). The perigee and apogee were 314.0 and 464.1 miles (505 and 747 km), respectively; the orbital inclination was 31.78'. The 1397 kilogram (3080-pound) Pegasus 2 satellite was also carried to orbit by SA-8, being stowed inside the boilerplate's service module, and remaining attached to the S-IV stage.

The actual trajectory was close to the one predicted, and the spacecraft was separated 806 seconds after lift-off. Several minor malfunctions occurred in the S-I stage propulsion system; however, all mission objectives were achieved.

References

  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013.

External links

  • NSSDC: SA-8
  • SA-8 Operational Trajectory
  • Manned space flight network performance analysis for the SA-8 mission
  • SA-8 flight test data report

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.