Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor Delta C


American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DSV-2A + 1 x Delta D + 1 x Altair 2

LEO Payload: 81 kg (178 lb). Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1965-08-25. Last Fail Date: 1965-08-25.

Status: Retired 1967.
Gross mass: 52,000 kg (114,000 lb).
Payload: 81 kg (178 lb).
Height: 27.50 m (90.20 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 756.00 kN (169,955 lbf).
Apogee: 100,000 km (60,000 mi).
First Launch: 1963.11.27.
Last Launch: 1967.03.08.
Number: 10 .

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...
  • 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...
  • IMP American earth magnetosphere satellite. 10 launches, 1963.11.27 (Explorer 18) to 1973.10.26 (Explorer 50). 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 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 275/37 kg. Thrust 22.24 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 266 seconds. More...
  • Delta D Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,693/545 kg. Thrust 33.70 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 278 seconds. More...
  • Thor DM-21 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 48,354/2,948 kg. Thrust 760.64 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 285 seconds. More...

Thor Delta C Chronology


1963 November 27 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 387/D21.
  • Explorer 18 - . Payload: IMP A. Mass: 62 kg (136 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. Decay Date: 1965-11-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 693 . COSPAR: 1963-046A. Apogee: 197,616 km (122,792 mi). Perigee: 192 km (119 mi). Inclination: 33.3000 deg. Period: 5,666.20 min. Summary: Radiation data; Interplanetary Monitoring Program. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 October 4 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 392/D26.
  • Explorer 21 - . Payload: IMP B. Mass: 62 kg (136 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. Decay Date: 1965-12-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 889 . COSPAR: 1964-060A. Apogee: 95,590 km (59,390 mi). Perigee: 191 km (118 mi). Inclination: 33.5000 deg. Period: 2,097.00 min. Summary: Lower than planned orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 December 21 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 393/D27.
  • Explorer 26 - . Payload: EPE D - 661A Flight 21-3. Mass: 46 kg (101 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1978-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 963 . COSPAR: 1964-086A. Apogee: 10,043 km (6,240 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 19.8000 deg. Period: 205.70 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1965 January 22 - . 07:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 374/D28.
  • Tiros 9 - . Payload: Tiros I (A-54). Mass: 138 kg (304 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 978 . COSPAR: 1965-004A. Apogee: 2,563 km (1,592 mi). Perigee: 705 km (438 mi). Inclination: 96.4000 deg. Period: 119.00 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1965 February 3 - . 16:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 411/D29.
  • OSO 2 - . Payload: OSO B2 (S-17). Mass: 247 kg (544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1989-08-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 987 . COSPAR: 1965-007A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 294 km (182 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Summary: Orbiting Solar Observatory; returned solar X-ray, UV, gamma ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 May 29 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 441/D31.
  • Explorer 28 - . Payload: IMP C. Mass: 58 kg (127 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMP. Decay Date: 1968-07-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 1388 . COSPAR: 1965-042A. Apogee: 261,206 km (162,305 mi). Perigee: 229 km (142 mi). Inclination: 30.5000 deg. Period: 8,419.70 min. Summary: Magnetic field, radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 July 2 - . 04:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 415/D32.
  • Tiros 10 - . Payload: Tiros OT1. Mass: 127 kg (279 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 1430 . COSPAR: 1965-051A. Apogee: 807 km (501 mi). Perigee: 722 km (448 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 100.10 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1965 August 25 - . 15:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 434/D33. FAILURE: Premature third stage ignition.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • OSO C - . Payload: OSO C. Mass: 280 kg (610 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1965-08-25 . COSPAR: F650825A.

1966 February 3 - . 07:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 445/D36.
  • ESSA 1 - . Payload: Tiros OT3. Mass: 138 kg (304 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Tiros. USAF Sat Cat: 1982 . COSPAR: 1966-008A. Apogee: 806 km (500 mi). Perigee: 684 km (425 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 99.70 min. Summary: Environmental Survey Satellite. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1967 March 8 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. LV Configuration: Thor Delta C 431/D46.
  • OSO 3 - . Payload: OSO E1. Mass: 281 kg (619 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1982-04-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 2703 . COSPAR: 1967-020A. Apogee: 570 km (350 mi). Perigee: 546 km (339 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 95.80 min. Summary: Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

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