Titan II Blasts Its Way Into History | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 04.25.16

Airborne 04.26.16

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 0830-1230ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1400-1700ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1100-1400ET

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 04.25.16

Airborne 04.26.16

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 0830-1230ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1400-1700ET

AEA2016 LIVE!!! 1100-1400ET

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Mon, Oct 27, 2003

Titan II Blasts Its Way Into History

Air Force Bids Farewell To "Awfully Tired"

The final Titan II rocket streaked skyward Oct. 18, leaving in its wake a 40-year history that included a transformation from intercontinental ballistic missile to space booster. As the final Titan II rocket streaked skyward from Vandenberg AFB (CA), it left in its wake a 40-year history that included a transformation from intercontinental ballistic missile to space booster.

The two-stage, liquid-propelled, silo-based Titan II was developed for the United States' budding ICBM program. The missiles served on the front lines of the Cold War.

Among the quartet of subterranean sentinels that held that duty, including Atlas, Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper, the Titan II cast the longest shadow. It was tipped with the largest warhead ever fielded by the United States, the 9-megaton Mark 6, with an explosive equivalence 600 times of that released at Hiroshima. The Titan II stood watch from 1963 to 1987.

The first Titan II ICBM test-launched from here was Feb. 16, 1963. The missile exploded less than a minute after launch.

Maybe it was the name.

"In the early days, they used to give missiles nicknames," said Jeffrey Geiger, 30th Space Wing historian. "This one was called 'Awfully Tired.' Maybe it was so tired it just blew up," he said.

Despite this first disaster, the Titan II program forged ahead. The next missile test launch was April 27, 1963. In the next 24 years, 56 more Titan II ICBMs launched from here.

Then came the more efficient Minuteman ICBMs, and the Titan II missile became obsolete, Geiger said. The Titan II weapon system was deactivated May 5, 1987. "Once the missile lost its operational viability, it became a space booster," Geiger said.

In 1988, following decommissioning of the Titan II as a weapon system, 14 of the 54 remaining vehicles were reacquired by Lockheed Martin Corp. The missiles were then retrofitted for spacelift duty. Since 1989, 12 of those have flown from Vandenberg's shore, successfully placing a wide array of payloads into polar, low-Earth orbit.

One of the more unique aspects of the Titan's history is its involvement with the manned-space program.

In the 10 flights of the Gemini Program from 1965 to 1966, modified Titan IIs carried two-person spacecrafts aloft. These flights focused on the logistics of “twinning” spacecraft in orbit, rendezvous and docking procedures to which the Saturn-based Apollo missions were heir, and which brought the first moon landing in 1969.

Those early Gemini flights were not the Titan II's only contribution to lunar exploration. "The Titan II's most interesting payload was the Clementine lunar-space probe," Gieger said. The 1994 Clementine mission provided evidence of water on the moon. This was also the first lunar launch from Vandenberg.

Of all the Titan IIs built by the Martin Company between 1962 to 1967, 95 have passed fully into history. Two were destroyed in accidents, while 93 have performed their intended function.

Of those, the second-to-last forged was the last to fly, providing the 430,000 pounds of thrust that took the 16th in a series of weather satellites for its six-minute ride 100 nautical miles into space.

ANN appreciates the efforts of Maj. Dan Wetmore, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

True Blue Power and Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics Power AEA2016!

True Blue Power Announces Series of High-Powered USB Charging Ports, Powers Current and Next-Generation Electronic Devices True Blue Power today announced the TA202 Series High Pow>[...]

L-3 Aviation Products Presents AEA2016 Special Event Coverage!!!

Innovative Avionics Powerhouse Showcases Latest Developments It's been a great year for L-3 Aviation Products. In less than six months, they've finetuned some ground-breaking produ>[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present AEA2016 Special Event Coverage!

AEA2016 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced display and sensor technology from the >[...]

Avilution's Revolution: Designing Avionics' Next-Generation

Avilution Shows What 'Next-Gen' REALLY Looks Like! When ANN first saw the Avilution concept in real-life, we took a few moments to let the idea sink in... and when it did... wow. N>[...]

Airborne 04.26.16: Drone v Airplane-NOT!, eFusion Electric Plane, ANN@AEA-LIVE!!

Also: MU-2 AOA, AMA Responds To Senate FAA Reauthorization, ANN@AEA Live 04/27-0830ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/28-1400ET, ANN@AEA Live 04/29-1100ET A report of a drone possibly colliding w>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC