Saturday, June 20, 2015

Retro Saturday: Biography of a Titan

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: Jeff Quitney YouTube channel.

This week's Retro Saturday is a 1965 U.S. Air Force documentary on the history of the Titan rocket titled, Biography of a Titan.

The first Titans were intended as a successor to the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile. As a weapon, Titans became obsolete because their liquid fuel would have to be loaded before launching a nuclear payload.

NASA used Titan IIs as the launch vehicle for Project Gemini in 1965-1966. While the Geminis launched from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 19, the Air Force constructed two new Titan facilities, Complex 40 and Complex 41, for the next-generation boosters known as the Titan III family.

The documentary features the Integrate-Transfer-Launch assembly line. The buildings are still at the Cape, and can be viewed by tour buses driving along NASA Causeway between Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Complex 40 today is the home of the SpaceX Falcon 9. Complex 41 is leased to United Launch Alliance for the Atlas V.

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