Atlas-Agena Launch Console

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This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

This is part of the suite of consoles built by General Dynamics, Inc. and used to launch Atlas-Agena rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in the 1970s and 1980s. The Atlas was developed as a liquid-fuel, intercontinental ballistic missile, and it also was used to launch four missions carrying Mercury astronauts into Earth orbit. The Atlas was also modified to carry an Agena upper stage, which carried a variety of payloads, including reconnaissance satellites, into orbit.

For missions that required a polar or near-polar orbit, the Vandenberg launch site was used, as it allowed a launch over water rather than over a populated area of land. These consoles were part of the equipment that served those launches.

Transferred from U.S. Air Force to NASM in 1994.