This is an Atlas Agena D rocket (officially designated the Atlas SLV-3). It
is also sometimes referred to as an Atlas TLV (Target Launch Vehicle). It
is an Atlas first stage mated to an Agena D second stage, and was used to launch
the [unmanned] target vehicle for the later Gemini missions.
The Agena D was a
modified version, and was fitted with a docking collar to allow the manned
Gemini spacecraft to dock after rendezvous. This was called a Gemini Agena
Target Vehicle (or GATV).
The first Atlas Agena D carrying a GATV was GATV 6,
launched on October 25, 1965. It exploded minutes after launch. The next GATV
launch was for Gemini VIII, and was successful. The GATV launched for Gemini IX
failed to achieve orbit, but all others (Gemini X, XI, and XII) were successful.
|Atlas TLV specifications
||2 Rocketdyne XLR-89-5 (boosters)
|| Atlas Agena SLV-3
||1 Rocketdyne LR-105-5 (sustainer) +
2 LR-101-NA5 verniers
||1 Bell 8096