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Centaur It is the name of a liquid hydrogen missile, used as a top section in combination with other rockets. With a length of 9 m., And a diameter of 3 m, it is equipped with two engines that develop a thrust of 13,600 kg.
On May 30, 1966, a Centaur was used as the second section of the Atlas missile to launch Surveyor 1 towards the Moon. Later, as the final section of the Titan III missile, it was used to launch some interplanetary space probes, such as the Viking sent to Mars.
But serious problems with the Centaur forced to change the plans. To carry out the trip to Mars in 1964, it would be necessary to look for a much lighter ship, given the limitations of the Agena-D stage, the only possible alternative. The precise modifications would give rise to what we know today as Mariner-C.
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