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AS-202 launch.jpg
Launch of AS-202
Mission typeSuborbital test flight
Mission duration1 hour, 33 minutes, 2 seconds
Range25,700 kilometers (13,900 nautical miles)
Apogee1,142.9 kilometers (617.1 nautical miles)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftApollo CSM-011
ManufacturerNorth American Aviation
Launch mass20,091 kilograms (44,294 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateAugust 25, 1966, 17:15:32 (1966-08-25UTC17:15:32Z) UTC
RocketSaturn IB
Launch siteCape Kennedy LC-34
End of mission
Recovered byUSS Hornet
Landing dateAugust 25, 1966, 18:48:34 (1966-08-25UTC18:48:35Z) UTC
Landing siteNorth Pacific Ocean
16°07′N 168°54′E / 16.117°N 168.900°E / 16.117; 168.900 (AS-202 splashdown)
← AS-203

AS-202 (also referred to as SA-202) was the second uncrewed, suborbital test flight of a production Block I Apollo command and service module launched with the Saturn IB launch vehicle. It was launched on August 25, 1966, and was the first flight which included the spacecraft guidance and navigation control system and fuel cells. The success of this flight enabled the Apollo program to judge the Block I spacecraft and Saturn IB ready to carry men into orbit on the next mission, AS-204.

Objectives[change | change source]

AS-202 was the third test flight of the Saturn IB engine, because a delay in the readiness of the Apollo spacecraft 011 pushed its launch past the July 1966 launch of AS-203. It was designed to test the rocket more than had been done on AS-201 by launching the rocket higher and having the flight lasting twice as long. It would also test the command and service module (CSM-011) by having the engine fire four times during the flight.

The flight was also designed to test the heat shield by subjecting it to intense heat during reentry. Over the course of the reentry it generated equivalent energy needed to power Los Angeles for over one minute in 1966.

CSM-011 was basically a production model capable of carrying a crew. However it lacked the crew couches and some displays that would be included on later missions for the astronauts. This was the first flight of the guidance and navigation system as well as the fuel cell electrical system.