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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 33
- Mods: 4
- Bluedog DB
- KW Rocketry
Once lunar rendezvous was chosen as the approach for a lunar mission it became necessary to be able to rendezvous two spacecraft, one potentially unmanned, dock them together, and perform various complex operations with the two craft. The highly successful Agena upper stage was chosen with the Agena-D converted into the ATV (Agena Target Vehicle) also known as the GATV (Gemini Agena Target Vehicle).
The ATV is launched on top of an Atlas rocket which uses its stage-and-a-half for both the ascent and orbital circularization and thus not requiring the Agena’s engines to be fired to achieve orbit. The Agena itself has two separate engines – one liquid, one monopropellent – which can be operated independently of each other. Once docked with my Gemini SC3 I got about 900-1000 dV from the liquid engines and about 100 dV from the monopropellent ones.
If you are looking for a semi-realistic experience then there is more than enough thrust to bring you up to 530km (KSP-adjusted altitude of Gemini 11) or even 958km (KSP-adjusted altitude of Gemini 12). My recommendation is to keep your boosts within LKO (Low Kerbal Orbit) and MKO (Medium Kerbal Orbit) which stops at 2,863 km in case you need to use your primary spacecraft’s engines to return to Kerbin.
While Agena missions can be quite lengthy the one limitation to keep in mind is electric since the Agena has neither solar panels nor fuel cells. However it is possible to recharge or resupply the Agena through other spacecraft if you wish. Since the Agena can be piloted remotely you can move it to a graveyard orbit or towards a violent re-entry if you want to deal with more debris.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.3.