Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor Agena B SLV-2


Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DSV-2A + 1 x Agena B

LEO Payload: 400 kg (880 lb) to a 1,000 km orbit at 100.00 degrees in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 19.560 million.

Status: Retired 1965.
Gross mass: 56,500 kg (124,500 lb).
Height: 27.20 m (89.20 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 756.00 kN (169,955 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1964.01.25.
Last Launch: 1965.11.29.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Alouette Canadian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1962.09.29 (Alouette 1) and 1965.11.29 (Alouette 2). Ionospheric research. More...
  • Echo 2 American passive communications satellite. One launch, 1964.01.25. Passive communications satellite; balloon; 1st joint US/USSR space mission. More...
  • Nimbus American earth weather satellite. 8 launches, 1964.08.28 (Nimbus 1) to 1978.10.13 (Nimbus 7). More...
  • DME American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1965.11.29, Explorer 31. Explorer 31, the Direct Measurement Explorer, was launched with a Canadian Alouette II on November 28, 1965, on a Thor-Agena rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. 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...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...

Associated Stages
  • Agena B Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 7,167/867 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 285 seconds. More...
  • Thor DM-19 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 49,340/3,125 kg. Thrust 758.71 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 282 seconds. More...

Thor Agena B SLV-2 Chronology


1964 January 25 - . 13:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena B 397 (TA2) / Agena B 6301.
  • Echo 2 - . Payload: Echo C A-12. Mass: 256 kg (564 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Echo 2. Decay Date: 1969-06-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 740 . COSPAR: 1964-004A. Apogee: 1,315 km (817 mi). Perigee: 1,030 km (640 mi). Inclination: 81.5000 deg. Period: 108.80 min. Summary: Passive commsat; balloon; 1st joint US/USSR space mission. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1964 August 28 - . 07:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena B 399 (TA3) / Agena B 6201. FAILURE: Agena-B cut off too early. Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Nimbus 1 - . Payload: Nimbus A. Mass: 376 kg (828 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Nimbus. Decay Date: 1974-05-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 872 . COSPAR: 1964-052A. Apogee: 937 km (582 mi). Perigee: 429 km (266 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 98.40 min. Returned 27,000 cloud cover images. The spacecraft carried an advanced vidicon camera system for recording and storing remote cloudcover pictures, an automatic picture transmission camera for providing real-time cloud cover pictures, and a high-resolution infrared radiometer to complement the daytime TV coverage and to measure nighttime radiative temperatures of cloud tops and surface terrain. A short second-stage burn resulted in an unplanned eccentric orbit. Otherwise, the spacecraft and its experiments operated successfully until September 22, 1964. The solar paddles became locked in position, resulting in inadequate electrical power to continue operations.

1965 November 29 - . 04:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena B 453 (TA5) / Agena B S-01 6102 .
  • Alouette 2 - . Payload: Alouette 2 / Explorer 31. Mass: 145 kg (319 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: DRTE. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Alouette. USAF Sat Cat: 1804 . COSPAR: 1965-098A. Apogee: 2,666 km (1,656 mi). Perigee: 503 km (312 mi). Inclination: 79.8000 deg. Period: 117.90 min. Ionospheric research; data correlated with Explorer 31. The double-launch project, known as ISIS-X was the first in a new co-operative NASA-Canadian Defense Research Board program for International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies. Alouette was in orbit with an apogee just over a kilometre lower than Explorer 31's and with a perigee of just more than a kilometre higher. The orbits were some 3000 km at apogee and 500 km at perigee.
  • Explorer 31 - . Payload: DME A. Mass: 99 kg (218 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: DME. USAF Sat Cat: 1806 . COSPAR: 1965-098B. Apogee: 2,833 km (1,760 mi). Perigee: 505 km (313 mi). Inclination: 79.8000 deg. Period: 119.70 min. Ionospheric research; data correlated with Alouette 2. The Explorer 31, Direct Measurement Explorer, was launched with a Canadian Alouette II on November 28, 1965, on a Thor-Agena rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The double-launch project, known as ISIS-X was the first in a new co-operative NASA-Canadian Defense Research Board program for International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies. Explorer 31 was in orbit with an apogee just over a kilometre more than Alouette's and with a perigee of just more than a kilometre lower. The orbits were some 3000 km at apogee and 500 km at perigee. Eight ionospheric measurement experiments sampled the environment both forward and after the satellite's path.

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