Encyclopedia Astronautica
Delta E1


American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 3 x Castor + 1 x Thor DSV-2C + 1 x Delta E + 1 x FW4D

LEO Payload: 540 kg (1,190 lb). Payload: 150 kg (330 lb) to a GTO.

Gross mass: 68,000 kg (149,000 lb).
Payload: 540 kg (1,190 lb).
Height: 28.00 m (91.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,450.00 kN (325,970 lbf).
Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi).
First Launch: 1966.07.01.
Last Launch: 1971.04.01.
Number: 17 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • IMP American earth magnetosphere satellite. 10 launches, 1963.11.27 (Explorer 18) to 1973.10.26 (Explorer 50). More...
  • GEOS American solar satellite. 3 launches, 1965.11.06 (Explorer 29) to 1975.04.09 (Geos 3). The GEOS spacecraft were gravity-gradient-stabilized, solar-cell powered satellites designed exclusively for geodetic studies. More...
  • Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E American solar satellite. 5 launches, 1965.12.16 (Pioneer 6) to 1969.08.27 (Pioneer E). Pioneers 6, 7, 8, and 9 were created to make the first detailed, comprehensive measurements of the solar wind, solar magnetic field and cosmic rays. More...
  • TOS American earth weather satellite. 7 launches, 1966.10.02 (ESSA 3) to 1969.02.26 (ESSA 9). TOS spacecraft marked the first operational system of US polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. More...
  • Intelsat 2 American communications satellite. 4 launches, 1966.10.26 (Intelsat 2 F-1) to 1967.09.28 (Intelsat 2 F-4). The Intelsat 2 series expanded ITSO coverage to include 2/3 of the Earth's surface. More...
  • TTS American tracking network technology satellite. 2 launches, 1967.12.13 (TTS 1) and 1968.11.08 (TTS 2; TATS 2 (TETR 2)). Tested Apollo tracking network. More...
  • HEOS European earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1968.12.05 (HEOS 1) and 1972.01.31 (HEOS 2). Highly Eccentric Orbiting Satellite; examined magnetic fields outside of Earth's magnetosphere. More...
  • Isis Canadian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1969.01.30 (Isis 1) and 1971.04.01 (Isis 2). Ionospheric measurements; data correlated with measurements from Alouette 1. 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
  • Explorer Series of satellites launched by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the exploration of the space environment (micrometeoroids, charged particles, radiation, etc) from both earth orbital and heliocentric orbital locations. More...
  • Intelsat Intelsat operated the world's first commercial communications satellite. It has provided the scheduled transoceanic television and voice and data communications service ever since. More...
  • Pioneer The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pioneer series were the first US probes sent towards the moon. Later Pioneers explored the heliocentric space environment and were the first spacecraft to reach the outer planets and to escape from the solar system. More...
  • Tiros TIROS spacecraft were the beginning of a long series of polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. TIROS was followed by the TOS (TIROS Operational System) series, and then the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series, and later the NOAA series. TIROS spacecraft were developed by GSFC and managed by ESSA (Environmental Science Services Administration). The objective was to establish a global weather satellite system. 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...
  • Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. 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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17A Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Pad 17A supported Thor, Delta, and Delta II launches into the 21st Century. More...

Associated Stages
  • Castor 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,424/695 kg. Thrust 258.92 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 262 seconds. More...
  • Delta E Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,009/785 kg. Thrust 35.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 278 seconds. More...
  • Delta Thor TA Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 49,442/3,175 kg. Thrust 866.71 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 290 seconds. More...
  • FW-4D Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 300/25 kg. Thrust 25.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 287 seconds. More...

Delta E1 Chronology


1966 July 1 - . 16:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 467/D39.
  • Explorer 33 - . Payload: AIMP D. Mass: 93 kg (205 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. USAF Sat Cat: 2258 . COSPAR: 1966-058A. Apogee: 480,762 km (298,731 mi). Perigee: 265,679 km (165,084 mi). Inclination: 24.1000 deg. Period: 38,792.40 min. Summary: Intended to enter lunar orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1966 August 17 - . 15:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 462/D40.
  • Pioneer 7 - . Payload: Pioneer B. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 2398 . COSPAR: 1966-075A. Apogee: 993 km (617 mi). Perigee: 246 km (152 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 97.20 min. Summary: Monitored solar wind, cosmic rays. SOLAR ORB. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1966 October 26 - . 23:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 464/D42. FAILURE: Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Intelsat 2 F-1 - . Mass: 140 kg (300 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 2. Decay Date: 1982-09-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 2514 . COSPAR: 1966-096A. Apogee: 37,070 km (23,030 mi). Perigee: 3,328 km (2,067 mi). Inclination: 17.3000 deg. Period: 718.70 min. Summary: Unusable orbit due to AKM failure. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1967 January 11 - . 10:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 468/D44.
  • Intelsat 2 F-2 - . Mass: 87 kg (191 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 2. Completed Operations Date: 1977-05-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 2639 . COSPAR: 1967-001A. Apogee: 35,808 km (22,250 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 1.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 174 deg E in 1967-1969; over the Pacific Ocean 162-170 deg E in 1969-1970; over the Pacific Ocean 150-160 deg E in 1970-1975 As of 7 August 2001 located at 48.66 deg E drifting at 0.413 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 63.48W drifting at 0.357W degrees per day.

1967 March 23 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 470/D47.
  • Intelsat 2 F-3 - . Mass: 192 kg (423 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 2. Completed Operations Date: 1977-05-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 2717 . COSPAR: 1967-026A. Apogee: 35,899 km (22,306 mi). Perigee: 35,670 km (22,160 mi). Inclination: 12.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 15 deg W in 1967-1971; over the Atlantic Ocean at 35 deg W in 1972; over the Atlantic Ocean at 15 deg W in 1973. As of 22 August 2001 was at 6.75 deg W drifting at 0.037 deg W per day. As of 2005 Dec 5 located at 13.34E drifting at 0.188W degrees per day. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).

1967 May 24 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 486/D49.
  • Explorer 34 - . Payload: IMP F. Mass: 75 kg (165 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. Decay Date: 1969-05-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 2817 . COSPAR: 1967-051A. Apogee: 214,379 km (133,208 mi). Perigee: 242 km (150 mi). Inclination: 67.1000 deg. Period: 6,358.20 min. Summary: Radiation, magnetic field data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1967 July 19 - . 14:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 488/D50.
  • Explorer 35 - . Payload: AIMP E. Mass: 104 kg (229 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. USAF Sat Cat: 2884 . COSPAR: 1967-070A. Apogee: 675 km (419 mi). Perigee: 484 km (300 mi). Inclination: 32.4000 deg. Period: 96.26 min. Earth magnetic tail measurements. Lunar Orbit (Selenocentric). The Westinghouse Aerospace Division, under contract to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center, engaged in the system design, integration, assembly and launch support for Anchored Interplanetary Monitoring Platform Satellite, officially designated Explorer 35 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was launched on July 19, 1967, with the primary objectives of investigation of interplanetary plasma and the interplanetary magnetic field out to and at the lunar distance, in either a captured lunar orbit or a geocentric orbit of the earth. In the geocentric orbit, the apogee was near or beyond the lunar distance. In a lunar orbit, additional objectives included obtaining data on dust distribution, lunar gravitational field, ionosphere, magnetic field, and radiation environment around the moon. AIMP-E also studied spatial and temporal relationships of geophysical and interplanetary phenomena simultaneously being studied by several other National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellites. The investigation in the vicinity of the moon provided for measurements of the characteristics of the interplanetary dust distribution, solar and galactic cosmic rays, as well as a study of the magnetohydrodynamic wake of the earth in the interplanetary medium at the lunar distances.

1967 September 28 - . 00:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 442/D52.
  • Intelsat 2 F-4 - . Mass: 87 kg (191 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 2. Completed Operations Date: 1977-05-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 2969 . COSPAR: 1967-094A. Apogee: 35,885 km (22,297 mi). Perigee: 35,729 km (22,200 mi). Inclination: 13.0000 deg. Period: 1,437.10 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 176 deg E in 1967-1970; over the Pacific Ocean 166 deg W in 1971; over the Atlantic Ocean 30-42 deg W in 1972 As of 1 August 2001 located at 36.36 deg W drifting at 0.096 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 7 located at 168.68W drifting at 0.093W degrees per day.

1967 November 10 - . 17:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 480/D54.
  • ESSA 6 - . Payload: TOS D. Mass: 132 kg (291 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: TOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3035 . COSPAR: 1967-114A. Apogee: 1,485 km (922 mi). Perigee: 1,409 km (875 mi). Inclination: 102.1000 deg. Period: 114.80 min. Summary: Returned cloud cover images. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1967 December 13 - . 14:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 489/D55.
  • Pioneer 8 - . Payload: Pioneer C / TTS 1. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 3066 . COSPAR: 1967-123A. Summary: Solar radiation data. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • TTS 1 - . Payload: TTS A. Mass: 20 kg (44 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Technology. Type: Tracking network technology satellite. Spacecraft: TTS. Decay Date: 1968-04-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3067 . COSPAR: 1967-123B. Apogee: 490 km (300 mi). Perigee: 287 km (178 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Summary: Test and Training Satellite; tested Apollo tracking network. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1968 January 11 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 454/D56.
  • Explorer 36 - . Payload: GEOS B. Mass: 209 kg (460 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: GEOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3093 . COSPAR: 1968-002A. Apogee: 1,574 km (978 mi). Perigee: 1,081 km (671 mi). Inclination: 105.8000 deg. Period: 112.20 min. The geodetic instrumentation systems included (1) four optical beacons, (2) two C-band radar transponders, (3) a passive radar reflector, (4) a sequential collation of range radio range transponder, (5) a Goddard range and range rate transponder, (6) laser reflectors, and (7) Doppler beacons. Non-geodetic systems included a laser detector and a Minitrack interferometer beacon. The objectives of the spacecraft were to optimise optical station visibility periods and to provide complementary data for inclination-dependent terms established by the Explorer 29 (GEOS 1) gravimetric studies. The spacecraft was placed into a retrograde orbit to accomplish these objectives. Operational problems occurred in the main power system, optical beacon flash system, and the spacecraft clock, and adjustments in scheduling resulted in nominal operations.

1968 November 8 - . 09:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 479/D60.
  • Pioneer 9 - . Payload: Pioneer D / TTS 2. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 3533 . COSPAR: 1968-100A. Summary: Solar radiation data. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • TTS 2; TATS 2 (TETR 2) - . Payload: TETR 2. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Technology. Type: Tracking network technology satellite. Spacecraft: TTS. Decay Date: 1979-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3534 . COSPAR: 1968-100B. Apogee: 945 km (587 mi). Perigee: 375 km (233 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 98.00 min. Summary: Test and Training Satellite; test vehicle for NASA Manned Space Flight Network. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1968 December 5 - . 18:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 481/D61.
  • HEOS 1 - . Payload: HEOS A1. Mass: 108 kg (238 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: HEOS. Decay Date: 1975-10-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3595 . COSPAR: 1968-109A. Apogee: 202,780 km (126,000 mi). Perigee: 20,020 km (12,430 mi). Inclination: 60.5000 deg. Period: 6,704.30 min. Summary: Highly Eccentric Orbiting Satellite; examined magnetic fields outside of Earth's magnetosphere. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1969 January 30 - . 06:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 485/D65.
  • Isis 1 - . Payload: Isis A. Mass: 241 kg (531 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: CRCSS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Isis. USAF Sat Cat: 3669 . COSPAR: 1969-009A. Apogee: 3,458 km (2,148 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 88.4000 deg. Period: 127.60 min. Summary: Ionospheric measurements; data correlated with measurements from Alouette 1. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1969 February 26 - . 07:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 483/D67.
  • ESSA 9 - . Payload: TOS G. Mass: 145 kg (319 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: TOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3764 . COSPAR: 1969-016A. Apogee: 1,505 km (935 mi). Perigee: 1,425 km (885 mi). Inclination: 101.8000 deg. Period: 115.20 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1969 June 21 - . 08:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 482/D69.
  • Explorer 41 - . Payload: IMP G. Mass: 174 kg (383 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. Decay Date: 1972-12-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 3990 . COSPAR: 1969-053A. Apogee: 98,159 km (60,993 mi). Perigee: 80,374 km (49,941 mi). Inclination: 86.0000 deg. Period: 4,906.30 min. Summary: Cislunar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1971 April 1 - . 02:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta E1. LV Configuration: Thor Delta E1 491/D84.
  • Isis 2 - . Payload: Isis B. Mass: 264 kg (582 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: CRCSS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Isis. USAF Sat Cat: 5104 . COSPAR: 1971-024A. Apogee: 1,424 km (884 mi). Perigee: 1,358 km (843 mi). Inclination: 88.2000 deg. Period: 113.60 min. Summary: Ionospheric research. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

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