General Description


Courtesy Lockheed Martin Corporation. Athena 1 (left). Athena II (right).

National Origin

United States

Main Organization


The Athena I and II are small, solid-propellant launch vehicles. They were developed commercially by Lockheed Martin beginning in the early 1990s. An Athena I carried ROCSAT, the first satellite for Taiwan, in January 1999 (left). The first flight of the Athena II in January 1998 carried NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft to the moon (right). -*-*-*-*-* Athena was developed commercially by Lockheed Martin to address the market for delivering small spacecraft to LEO. The Athena family includes two small launch vehicles, the three-stage Athena I and the four-stage Athena II. Both vehicles are made up of solid motors and a small liquid injection stage, called the Orbit Adjust Module (OAM). The vehicles are modular, and the Athena II shares all the components of the Athena I with the addition of an extra Castor® 120 solid motor.



Operational. Athena I first launch in 1995. Athena II first launch in 1998.

Key Organizations

Marketing Organization


The mass of the payload adapter must be subtracted from the performance shown below.

Athena I
Athena II
185 km (100 nmi)   28.5 deg 820 kg (1805 lbm)  2065 kg (4520 lbm)
 185 km (100 nmi) 90 deg 545 kg (1200 lbm)   1575 kg (3470 lbm)
 90 deg  545 kg (1200 lbm)   1575 kg (3470 lbm)
 Space Station Orbit: 407 km (220 nmi)  51.6 deg 665 kg (1465 lbm)  1735 kg (3825 lbm)
 Sun-Synchronous Orbit: 800 km (432 nmi)  98.6 deg 360 kg (790 lbm)  1165 kg (1565 lbm)
GTO: 18535,786 km (10019,323 nmi) 28.5 deg
 No capability  590 kg (1290 lbm)
Star 37FM kick stage