Encyclopedia Astronautica
Delta 3920


American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta K

Status: Retired 1986.
Gross mass: 191,000 kg (421,000 lb).
Height: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 3,188.00 kN (716,690 lbf).
Apogee: 700 km (430 mi).
First Launch: 1982.07.16.
Last Launch: 1986.09.05.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • MicroSat SSTL British technology satellite. 3 launches, 1981.10.06 (CERISE) to 1990.01.22 (Oscar 14). Original version of the Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • Landsat 4-5 American earth land resources satellite. 2 launches, 1982.07.16 (Landsat 4) to 1984.03.01 (Landsat 5). More...
  • SDI American military strategic defense satellite. 18 launches, 1986.09.05 (USA 19) to 1989.03.24 (USA 36). SDIO sensor tests. More...

See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Douglas American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Oscar Amateur radio satellite network. For over a third of a century a series of OSCAR satellites have been launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

Associated Stages
  • Castor 4 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 10,534/1,269 kg. Thrust 407.21 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 261 seconds. More...
  • Delta Thor RS27 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 84,368/4,360 kg. Thrust 1,030.22 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 296 seconds. More...
  • Delta K N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,954/950 kg. Thrust 43.63 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 319 seconds. More...

Delta 3920 Chronology


1982 July 16 - . 17:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3920. LV Configuration: Delta 3920 648/D163.
  • Landsat 4 - . Payload: Landsat D. Mass: 1,942 kg (4,281 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 4-5. USAF Sat Cat: 13367 . COSPAR: 1982-072A. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi). Perigee: 693 km (430 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.80 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1984 March 1 - . 17:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3920. LV Configuration: Delta 3920 D174.
  • Landsat 5 - . Payload: Landsat D'. Mass: 1,938 kg (4,272 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 4-5. USAF Sat Cat: 14780 . COSPAR: 1984-021A. Apogee: 703 km (436 mi). Perigee: 702 km (436 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.80 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..
  • Oscar 11 - . Payload: UoSAT 2. Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: Surrey. Manufacturer: Surrey. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microsat SSTL. USAF Sat Cat: 14781 . COSPAR: 1984-021B. Apogee: 670 km (410 mi). Perigee: 651 km (404 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 98.00 min. University of Surrey experimental microsatellite. Built in only 6 months, UoSAT-2 carried the first modern digital store and forward (S&F) communications payload and a prototype CCD camera. Also performed magnetospheric studies. Launch time 1759 GMT. Still operational in 2000.

1986 September 5 - . 15:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3920. LV Configuration: Delta 3920 D180.
  • USA 19 - . Payload: Delta 180 / Payload Adapter System. Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: SDI. Decay Date: 1986-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 16937 . COSPAR: 1986-069A. Apogee: 748 km (464 mi). Perigee: 213 km (132 mi). Inclination: 39.1000 deg. Period: 94.20 min. Summary: SDIO sensor tests. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .
  • Delta 180 Sensor Module - . Payload: DM 43 Sensor Module. Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Spacecraft: SDI. Decay Date: 1986-11-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 16938 . COSPAR: 1986-069B. Apogee: 539 km (334 mi). Perigee: 215 km (133 mi). Inclination: 22.7000 deg. Period: 92.09 min.

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