Glen L. Martin Company Titan I ICBM
Glen L. Martin Company Titan I ICBM Zoom

The Titan I is a two-stage missile that was developed in the event that the Atlas program was a failure. The Titan I was developed by the Glen L. Martin Company (now Lockheed Martin) as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Designated SM-68 (Strategic Missile-68), the Titan I was America's second ICBM, and the first two-stage ICBM. Both stages were powered by LOX (Liquid Oxygen) and alcohol. As evident in the picture above, the first stage had two engines, and the second had a single engine.

Work on the Titan I started in 1955. The first missile was delivered on June 17, 1958, and testing began. On February 6, 1959 (on the third attempt), a Titan I with a dummy second stage was successfully launched from Complex 15. Shortly afterwards, testing began on the two-stage version. After a series of failures, a Titan I was launched on January 27, 1960 and traveled 2200 miles before splashing down. Testing continued into 1961, and the Titan I was subsequently delivered to Air Force missile silos then declared operational in April of 1962.

A total of 54 Titan I missiles were deployed throughout the United States. By April of 1965, after four years on alert, the Titan I missiles were removed from service.

Titan I specifications and performance
Length 98 ft. Weight 22,000 lbs.
Thrust First stage: 300,000 lbs. 
Second stage: 80,000 lbs.
Speed 15,000 MPH
Apogee 500 miles Range 5500 nautical miles
Warhead W-38 or W-49 thermonuclear (4 MT)


Titan II (first stage)
Glen L. Martin Company Titan II (first stage) Zoom
Titan II (second stage)
Glen L. Martin Company Titan II (second stage) Zoom

The Titan II was similar to the Titan I, but was much more powerful. Designated as LGM-25C, the Titan II  was the largest missile ever deployed by the U.S. Air Force. The missile was longer and heavier than its predecessor, and used new engines and different propellants (a 50/50 mix of hydrazine and unsymetrical dimethylhydrazine, with nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer).

The greater thrust on the Titan II also enabled it to insert payloads into Earth orbit. Unlike the Titan I, which was strictly used as an ICBM, the Titan II played an important role in the Gemini program as the vehicle for all of the manned missions.

Titan II specifications and performance
Length 103 ft. Weight 330,000 lbs.
Thrust First stage: 430,000 lbs. 
Second stage: 100,000 lbs.
Speed 15,000 MPH
Apogee 600 miles Range 5500 nautical miles
Warhead W-53 thermonuclear (9 MT)

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