Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor DM-18A


American orbital launch vehicle. Single stage vehicle

Failures: 6. Success Rate: 88.00%. First Fail Date: 1958-12-31. Last Fail Date: 1959-12-15.

Status: Retired 1962.
Gross mass: 48,900 kg (107,800 lb).
Height: 19.40 m (63.60 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 668.00 kN (150,172 lbf).
Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).
First Launch: 1958.11.05.
Last Launch: 1962.06.19.
Number: 50 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
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 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 SLC10E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a launch emplacement in 1961. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC18B Scout, Delta launch complex. The LC18 complex included two launch pads 18A and 18B. Pad 18B supported 17 Thor missile launches between 4 June 1958 and 1 March 1960. Pad 18B supported half a dozen Blue Scout I, Blue Scout II and Scout missions between 7 January 1961 and 13 April 1962. Complex 18 was deactivated on 1 February 1967. More...
  • Vandenberg LE-8 Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS IRBM pad. Upgraded for use as a launch emplacement in 1961. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC10W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a launch emplacement in 1965. 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
  • 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 DM-18A Chronology


1958 November 5 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 138.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 November 26 - . 09:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 140.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Summary: First operational launch.

1958 December 6 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 145.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 December 16 - . 23:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 151.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Summary: Two Thor shots, one from Cape Canaveral and one from Vandenberg AFB, were successful. Intermediate range ballistic missile portion of PMR was inaugurated with successful firing of USAF Thor from Vandenberg AFB..

1958 December 17 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 146.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 December 31 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 149. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF.

1959 January 30 - . 23:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 154.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 March 22 - . 00:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 158.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 March 27 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 162.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 April 16 - . 20:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 161.
  • IWST test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Summary: Integrated Weapon System Training 1. First Thor IRBM launched by British crew at Vandenberg AFB..

1959 April 23 - . 05:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 176.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Summary: Fourth recovery of a data capsule at AMR, USAF Thor 1,500-mile accuracy test flight..

1959 April 25 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 164.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 May 12 - . 17:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 187.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 May 23 - . 02:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 184.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 June 16 - . 21:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 191. FAILURE: Autopilot error.. Failed Stage: G.
  • IWST test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Integrated Weapon System Training Launch 2.

1959 June 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 198.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 June 30 - . 02:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 194.
  • Series IV Lofted Trajectory research and development mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1959 July 21 - . 07:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 203. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1959 July 24 - . 12:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 202.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Summary: USAF Thor data capsule recovered near Antigua which contained movie film showing nose cone separation..

1959 August 3 - . 21:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 175.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 August 6 - . 02:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 208.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 August 14 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 204.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 August 14 - . 19:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 190. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1959 August 27 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 216.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 September 12 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 217.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 September 17 - . 21:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 228.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 September 22 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 222.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Ionosphere/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 October 6 - . 16:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 235.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 October 6 - . 18:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 239.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 October 14 - . 04:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 221.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 October 21 - . 22:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 220.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 October 29 - . 02:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 230.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 November 3 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 238.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 November 12 - . 19:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 181.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 November 19 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 244.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 December 1 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 254.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 December 2 - . 05:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 265. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1959 December 15 - . 02:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 185. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1959 December 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 255.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1960 January 21 - . 20:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 215.
  • IWST - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1960 March 2 - . 20:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 272.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1960 June 22 - . 23:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 233.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1960 October 11 - . 21:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 186.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1960 December 13 - . 20:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 267.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1961 March 30 - . 05:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 243.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1961 June 20 - . 23:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 276.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1961 September 6 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 165.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1961 December 6 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 214.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1962 March 19 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 229.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1962 June 19 - . 00:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LE-8. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. LV Configuration: Thor DM-18A 269.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: RAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

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