Collection Item Summary:
Shown here is one of three combustion chambers of a liquid-fuel attitude control rocket engine assembly used on the Titan 3E launch vehicle. It controlled the vehicle's roll and yaw. Developed by the Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, the SE-9 (as it was also known), collectively produced 135 pounds of thrust (45 pounds each) and used storable, hypergolic (self-igniting) propellants. This feature maintained simplicity of operation and improved reliability.
The Titan 3E originated out of the Air Force's Titan family of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which first entered service in the early 1960s. In modified form, it included two added solid-propellant boosters and a Centaur upper stage. Initially, the Titan 3E launched deep space probes or satellites. The first successful launch took place on December 10, 1974. Less than a year later, a Titian 3E launched two Viking spacecraft to Mars.
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force.