Aphrodite LV-1C / Project BROOM

American orbital launch vehicle. A Convair Atlas B modified for use in NACA's Project BROOM.

Like its ICBM counterpart, the Aphrodite was a five-engined, stage-and-a-half Lox/RP-1 vehicle. Modifications from the Atlas B version included strengthening of the vehicle to hold the weight of the BROOM capsule, additional sensors to track status, and a different front fairing and payload release system to mate it to the capsule.

Aphrodite LV-1C Twelve were built, numbered AT-01 through AT-05 and ALV-01 to ALV-07. The AT series were test vehicles, planned to launch from November, 1949 to March 1950 from Edwards AFB to prove the design, with data from those flights going into the construction of the ALV series. AT-01 launched on November 19th, 1949. Early engine cut-off placed the vehicle in a lower than planned orbit. It reentered and burned up on April 7th of the next year. AT-02 and 03 both had perfect flights, with AT-03 carrying a boilerplate weighted model of the capsule into orbit. AT-04, however, exploded at an altitude of 43 miles when an engine seam split. The launch of AT-05 was postponed while this was researched, and then canceled when it was decided to go straight to the ALV series which had the needed modifications rather than modify the remaining AT vehicle. The only surviving LV-1C booster, it is on display at the California Museum of Science and Industry.

The ALV series were launched from October of 1950 to January of 1952 each carrying a MBV-1 capsule (See Manned Ballistic Vehicle 1 / Project BROOM) with no failures of the booster. Following the last LV-1C flight in 1952, the booster was replaced by the modified LV-2A version and its followups for future manned and unmanned space launches.

AKA: LV-1C / Atlas, Manned.
Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 270,513 kg (595,129 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,825 kg (8,415 lb).
LEO Payload: 2,420 kg (5,324 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.
Height: 28.00 m (91.86 ft).
Diameter: 4.40 m (14.44 ft).
Thrust: 3,740.39 kN (840,872 lbf).
Specific impulse: 309 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 215 s.
Burn time: 303 s.
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
Number: 12.

Associated Spacecraft