Athena (rocket family)

The Athena (originally as LLV ( Lockheed Launch Vehicle ) and LMLV ( Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle ) refers ) is a rocket for small to medium sized payloads. It was developed on the basis of the Castor -120 engine, which was a civilian derivative of the first stage of the Peacekeeper ICBM.


A total of seven flights took place from 1995 to 2001. The first two missions were still under the original terms LLV or place LMLV before the name Athena was introduced for the program. The Athena rocket had little commercial success, so that the production was stopped. Was given to the new edition of the carrier rocket program " Athena" known on 25 March 2010 by the aerospace company Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems ( ATK ). The company planning the two versions of the " Athena " Athena 1c with 700 kg payload and the Athena 2c 1700 kg payload. The companies justify their re-entry with a growing market. Furthermore, the production costs compared to the first Athena versions will be lower. The first launch is planned around the year 2014.


Athena 1

The Athena 1 consisted of a Castor -120 rocket motor, a Orbus -21D rocket motor and a driven liquid-fueled upper stage. This configuration could carry 795 kg into a low orbit. A total of four missiles of this type were launched, three of them successfully. Start sites were Cape Canaveral AFS, Vandenberg AFB and Kodiak Launch Complex.

Athena 1c

The two-stage Athena 1c based on the concept of Athena 1 For the first stage further comprises a castor 120, the rocket motor is used. For the second stage of the newly developed Castor 30 rocket motor is being used. The payload will be 740 kg.

Athena 2

The Athena II completed the configuration of Athena I order another Castor -120 rocket motor. In this configuration, 1985 kg could be accommodated in a low orbit. The Athena II was started three times, two of them successfully. Payloads were the lunar probe Lunar Prospector and two IKONOS Earth observation satellites. Start sites were Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.

Athena 2c

In the three-stage Athena 2c shows the configuration of Athena 1 is supplemented by a further Castor -120 rocket motor. In this configuration, 1712 kg can be brought into a low orbit.

Athena 3

Reinforced with two to six additional solid boosters version of Athena 2 was planned, but was never used.

Start list

This is a complete start list of the Athena rocket. State of the list: January 2, 2007

¹ Gross Weight = ( Satellite Adapter, enclosure etc. )

² NOT necessarily the target orbit of the payload - but the path to the payload of the advanced level should be suspended.