Development of the Agena began in 1956. On February 28, 1959, a Thor-Agena placed Discoverer 1 into the first polar orbit ever achieved by a man-made object. An Agena A carried Discoverer 14 into orbit on August 18, 1960, and sent it back to Earth 27 hours later to become the first satellite recovered in midair after reentry from space. The Agena had primary and secondary propulsion systems. The main engine had a thrust of about 70,000 newtons (N), while the secondary was used for small orbital adjustments. Both engines used liquid propellants and (from the Agena B on) could be restarted in orbit.
Related category• ROCKETS AND LAUNCH VEHICLES
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