Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor Delta



delt6110.jpg
Delta no. 4
Delta no. 4 - COSPAR 1961-Kappa
American orbital launch vehicle. Commercial name for the military's Thor-Delta. The name of the Delta second stage eventually was applied to subsequent commercial follow-ons.

3 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x Delta + 1 x Altair

LEO Payload: 226 kg (498 lb). Payload: 45 kg (99 lb) to a GTO. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1960-05-13. Last Fail Date: 1960-05-13 in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 7.270 million.

AKA: Thor-Delta.
Status: Retired 1962.
Gross mass: 54,050 kg (119,150 lb).
Payload: 226 kg (498 lb).
Height: 31.00 m (101.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 667.20 kN (149,993 lbf).
Apogee: 100,000 km (60,000 mi).
First Launch: 1960.05.13.
Last Launch: 1962.09.18.
Number: 12 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • TIROS American earth weather satellite. 12 launches, 1960.04.01 (Tiros 1) to 1966.02.28 (ESSA 2). TIROS spacecraft were the beginning of a long series of polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. More...
  • Echo American passive communications satellite. 2 launches, 1960.05.13 (Echo 1) and 1960.08.12 (Echo 1). The Echo satellites were NASA's first experimental communications satellite project. More...
  • P-14 American solar satellite. 3 launches, 1961.02.24 (Explorer) to 1961.05.24 (Explorer). Magnetic field data. More...
  • EPE American solar satellite. 4 launches, 1961.08.16 (Explorer 12) to 1964.12.21 (Explorer 26). Radiation and solar wind data. More...
  • OSO American solar satellite. 9 launches, 1962.03.07 (OSO 1) to 1975.06.21 (OSO 8). The Orbiting Solar Observatories, developed for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, were designed primarily as stabilized platforms for solar-oriented scientific instruments. More...
  • Ariel American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1962.04.26 (Ariel 1) to 1979.06.02 (Ariel 6). Ionospheric studies; returned X-ray, ionospheric, cosmic ray data. More...
  • Telstar American communications satellite. 2 launches, 1962.07.10 (Telstar 1) and 1963.05.07 (Telstar 2). 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Altair 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 238/30 kg. Thrust 12.45 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 256 seconds. More...
  • Delta 104 Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,472/590 kg. Thrust 35.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 278 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 Delta Chronology


1960 May 13 - . 09:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 144/D1. FAILURE: Second stage attitude control failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Echo 1 - . Payload: A-10. Mass: 56 kg (123 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Echo. Decay Date: 1960-05-13 . COSPAR: F600513A.

1960 August 12 - . 09:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 270/D2.
  • Echo 1 - . Payload: A-11. Mass: 76 kg (167 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Echo. Decay Date: 1968-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 49 . COSPAR: 1960-Iota-1. Apogee: 2,157 km (1,340 mi). Perigee: 966 km (600 mi). Inclination: 47.3000 deg. Period: 117.30 min. Summary: Balloon; passively relayed TV and voice transmissions. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1960 November 23 - . 11:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 245/D3.
  • Tiros 2 - . Payload: Tiros B (A-2). Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 63 . COSPAR: 1960-Pi-1. Apogee: 610 km (370 mi). Perigee: 547 km (339 mi). Inclination: 48.5000 deg. Period: 96.30 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1961 March 25 - . 15:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 295/D4.
  • Explorer 10 - . Payload: P-14. Mass: 35 kg (77 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-06-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 98 . COSPAR: 1961-Kappa-1. Apogee: 181,100 km (112,500 mi). Perigee: 221 km (137 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 5,013.90 min. Summary: Magnetic field data. Decay date suspect Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1961 July 12 - . 10:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 286/D5.
  • Tiros 3 - . Payload: Tiros C (A-3). Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 162 . COSPAR: 1961-Rho-1. Apogee: 790 km (490 mi). Perigee: 723 km (449 mi). Inclination: 47.9000 deg. Period: 100.00 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1961 August 16 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 312/D6.
  • Explorer 12 - . Payload: EPE A (S-3). Mass: 38 kg (83 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1963-08-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 170 . COSPAR: 1961-Upsilon-1. Apogee: 76,620 km (47,600 mi). Perigee: 790 km (490 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 1,587.30 min. Summary: Radiation and solar wind data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 February 8 - . 12:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 317/D7.
  • Tiros 4 - . Payload: Tiros D (A-9). Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 226 . COSPAR: 1962-Beta-1. Apogee: 812 km (504 mi). Perigee: 693 km (430 mi). Inclination: 48.3000 deg. Period: 99.90 min. Summary: Returned 32593 cloud cover photos. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1962 March 7 - . 16:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 301/D8.
  • OSO 1 - . Payload: OSO A (S-16). Mass: 208 kg (458 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1981-10-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 255 . COSPAR: 1962-Zeta-1. Apogee: 553 km (343 mi). Perigee: 522 km (324 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Summary: Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar flare observations. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 April 26 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 320/D9.
  • Ariel 1 - . Payload: UK 1 (S-51). Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: NASA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1976-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 285 . COSPAR: 1962-Omicron-1. Apogee: 1,203 km (747 mi). Perigee: 398 km (247 mi). Inclination: 53.8000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Ionospheric studies; returned X-ray, ionospheric, cosmic ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 June 19 - . 12:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 321/D10.
  • Tiros 5 - . Payload: Tiros E (A-50). Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 309 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Alpha-1. Apogee: 880 km (540 mi). Perigee: 580 km (360 mi). Inclination: 58.1000 deg. Period: 99.40 min. Summary: Returned 58226 cloud cover images. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1962 July 10 - . 08:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 316/D11.
  • Telstar 1 - . Mass: 77 kg (169 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Telstar. USAF Sat Cat: 340 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 5,643 km (3,506 mi). Perigee: 945 km (587 mi). Inclination: 44.8000 deg. Period: 157.80 min. Summary: First commercial comsat; active repeater. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1962 September 18 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 318/D12.
  • Tiros 6 - . Payload: Tiros F2 (A-51). Mass: 127 kg (279 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 397 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Psi-1. Apogee: 654 km (406 mi). Perigee: 631 km (392 mi). Inclination: 58.3000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Summary: Returned 66674 cloud cover images. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

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