Encyclopedia Astronautica
Johnston Island LE2


Delta launch complex. Launch Emplacement 2

Longitude: -169.5398 deg.
Latitude: 16.7288 deg.
First Launch: 1962.10.16.
Last Launch: 1975.11.06.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
Associated Launch Sites
  • Johnston Island US military base on this island in the Pacific Ocean. Used for rocket-launched nuclear tests in the 1950's. In the 1960's it was the site for the operational AFP-437 anti-satellite system. The system was retired in 1975. Several sounding rockets were also launched over the years, either in support of nuclear tests or in experiments related to anti-satellite technology. Known to have been used for 124 launches from 1958 to 1975, reaching up to 1158 kilometers altitude. More...

Johnston Island LE2 Chronology


1962 October 16 - . 09:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2E. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2E 156. FAILURE: At 86 seconds after launch a booster failure occurred and the missile began tumbling.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • BLUEGILL DOUBLE PRIME Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi). The third attempt to launch a nuclear warhead using a Thor IRBM. At 86 seconds after launch a booster failure occurred and the missile began tumbling. Range safety destroyed the errant booster at 156 seconds after launch. Some radioactive fallout from the warhead was detected on Johnston Atoll.

1962 November 1 - . 11:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2E. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2E 226.
  • KINGFISH Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). A Thor IRBM was used to launch a Mk 4 Reentry Vehicle containing a 186 kg W-50 nuclear warhead of either 200 or 400 kilotons yield. The detonation occurred at an altitude of 98 km, 69 km SSW of Johnston Atoll, and resulted in dramatic aurora-like effects visible as far away as Hawaii. More notably, the explosion had a massive effect on the ionosphere which disrupted radio communications over the entire central Pacific for three hours.

1964 April 21 - . 06:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 290 (20003).
  • AFP-437 combat training interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 778 km (483 mi).

1964 May 28 - . 07:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 227 (20007). FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 3.
  • AFP-437 combat training interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 932 km (579 mi).

1965 April 5 - . 07:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 155.
  • AFP-437 combat training interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi).

1965 December 7 - . 02:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 188 (20011).
  • AFP-437(AP) interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 487 km (302 mi).

1966 January 18 - . 18:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 242.
  • AFP-437(AP) interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 459 km (285 mi).

1966 March 12 - . 00:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 196.
  • AFP-437(AP) interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi).

1966 July 2 - . 20:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 289.
  • AFP-437(AP) interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 802 km (498 mi).

1970 April 24 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 225. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 4.
  • SDP test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Summary: ASAT test, Thor collided with satellite.

1970 September 24 - . 12:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 271.
  • HAP / SXRE X-ray astronomy / test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1975 September 19 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 201.
  • DG-5 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1975 November 6 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE2. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2J 274.
  • DG-3 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

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