Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor Able-Star



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Thor Ablestar
Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva
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Thor Able Star
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Launch Complex 17B
Launch Complex 17B - Cape Canaveral
American orbital launch vehicle. As Thor Able but with enlarged Ablestar second stage with 2 1/2 x greater burn time.

As is almost always the case in such programs, the Air Force requested increases in the propulsion system capabilities in an effort to meet their ever-expanding mission requirements. As a result, the stainless steel version of the basic Able engine was selected, and it was uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times (easily done with the stainless steel thrust chamber) - and this configuration was called Ablestar. The Ablestar also included modifications that allowed in-space restarting - a first in the industry. The time required for developing and qualifying the Ablestar propulsion system was eight months, most of which was needed for the design, development and qualification of the much larger propellant tanks and titanium helium spheres. These remarkably short development times was a result of the basic simplicity of the Able design - mainly the low chamber pressure, hypergolic propellants, and gas pressurized propellant tanks. This simplicity also resulted in a number of additional very desirable features:

  • The ability to achieve rapid, relatively low cost modifications, and high reliability for a variety of missions
  • The ability to shift back to the aluminum thrust chamber and injector which provided an extremely good thrust to weight ratio (180, based on 3500 kgf thrust and a weight of 19.5 kg)
  • Very light weight tankage based on heat treated 410 stainless steel
  • Easily adjustable run time (in the stainless steel version) based on simply varying the length of the cylindrical section of the tanks.
In addition, the basic philosophy of pressure fed, low chamber pressure and ablative (rather than regeneratively cooled) thrust chambers for upper stage engines produced outstanding reliability and scalability. In a vacuum engine, a low chamber pressure still provides a reasonable expansion ratio, and thus reasonable performance. Secondly, low chamber pressure allows use of a very simple, pressure fed propellant system with relatively light and inexpensive tanks. Thirdly, the low chamber pressure results in lower heat transfer rates, thus making ablative chambers more practical - and they are inherently less expensive, and much mere reliable. And finally ablative chambers greatly simplify restarts in a vacuum environment because there are essentially no problems with cooling jacket and manifold fill times or coking in the coolant system.

LEO Payload: 150 kg (330 lb) to a 1,100 km orbit at 90.00 degrees in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 12.830 million.

Stage Data - Thor Able-Star

  • Stage 1. 1 x Thor DM-21. Gross Mass: 48,354 kg (106,602 lb). Empty Mass: 2,948 kg (6,499 lb). Thrust (vac): 760.643 kN (170,999 lbf). Isp: 285 sec. Burn time: 164 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft). Span: 2.44 m (8.00 ft). Length: 18.41 m (60.40 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: MB-3-1. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Able-Star. Gross Mass: 4,470 kg (9,850 lb). Empty Mass: 590 kg (1,300 lb). Thrust (vac): 35.088 kN (7,888 lbf). Isp: 278 sec. Burn time: 296 sec. Isp(sl): 210 sec. Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft). Span: 1.40 m (4.50 ft). Length: 5.88 m (19.29 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: AJ10-104. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Ultimate development of lineage Aerobee - Vanguard second stage - Able upper stage. Replaced by Agena.

Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 53,000 kg (116,000 lb).
Payload: 150 kg (330 lb).
Height: 29.00 m (95.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 667.20 kN (149,993 lbf).
Apogee: 1,100 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1960.04.13.
Last Launch: 1965.08.13.
Number: 19 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Transit American navigation satellite. 46 launches, 1959.09.17 (Transit 1A) to 1988.08.25 (Transit O-31). The Transit Navigation System began development in 1958. More...
  • GRAB American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 9 launches, 1960.04.13 (Dummy subsatellite) to 1965.03.09 (Solrad 7B). GRAB, the first US electronic intelligence (ELINT) satellite, was not declassified until June 1998. More...
  • Courier American communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1960.08.18 (Courier 1A) and 1960.10.04 (Courier 1B). Experimental communications. More...
  • Lofti American communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1961.02.22 (Lofti) and 1963.06.15 (Lofti 2A). The Low Frequency Trans-Ionospheric (LOFTI) satellites were produced as a cooperative effort with the Radio Division. More...
  • Injun American earth magnetosphere satellite. 5 launches, 1961.06.29 (Injun 1) to 1968.08.08 (Explorer 40). Radiation decay data satellite. May also have been a cover for some NRL ELINT satellites. More...
  • TRAAC American technology satellite. One launch, 1961.11.15. Transit Research and Attitude Control. More...
  • SURCAL American military target satellite. 15 launches, 1962.01.24 (Surcal) to 1969.09.30 (Surcal). More...
  • Lofti 2 American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1962.01.24. Carried 5 satellites. More...
  • SECOR American earth geodetic satellite. 13 launches, 1962.01.24 (Secor) to 1969.04.14 (SECOR 13). More...
  • Anna American earth geodetic satellite. 2 launches, 1962.05.10 (Anna 1A) and 1962.10.31 (Anna 1B). More...
  • APL American earth magnetosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1963.09.28 (APL SN 39) to 1964.12.13 (APL SN 43). Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory built several satellites for the Air Force in the 1960's. More...
  • Calsphere American military target satellite. 11 launches, 1964.10.06 (Calsphere 1) to 1971.02.17 (Calsphere 5). Radar calibration objects (but also cover for other classified subsatellites). More...
  • DODECAPOLE American military target satellite. 2 launches, 1965.03.09 (DODECAPOLE 1/Porcupine 1) and 1965.08.13 (Dodecapole 2). More...
  • Tempsat American military target satellite. 2 launches, 1965.08.13 (Tempsat 1) and 1969.09.30 (Tempsat 2). Surveillance Calibration; black 14 inch diameter. sphere. More...

Associated Engines
  • AJ10-104 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 35.1 kN. Isp=278s. Stainless steel version of the basic Able engine, uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times First flight 1960. More...
  • MB-3-1 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 760.6 kN. Out of production. Designed for booster applications. Gas generator, pump-fed. Isp=285s. Boosted Delta A, B, C, Thor Able-Star. First flight 1960. 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
  • Transit Spin-stabilized Transit satellites were developed by the US Navy into the first operational navigation satellite system, for use by ballistic missile submarines and surface vessels. Early Transits carried a variety of piggy-back payloads, many still classified. Transit was also known as the Navy Navigation Satellite (NNS). Transit provided continuous navigation satellite service from 1964, initially for Polaris submarines and later for civilian use. 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 SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. 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...
  • 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
  • Able-Star Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,497/599 kg. Thrust 36.02 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 280 seconds. The Air Force requested increases in the propulsion system capabilities of the original Able upper stage design in an effort to meet their ever-expanding mission requirements. As a result, the stainless steel version of the basic Able engine was selected, and it was uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times (easily done with the stainless steel thrust chamber) - and this configuration was called Ablestar. 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 Able-Star Chronology


1960 April 13 - . 12:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 257 AB002?.
  • Transit 1B - . Mass: 121 kg (266 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Duration: 89.00 days. Decay Date: 1967-10-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 31 . COSPAR: 1960-Gamma-2. Apogee: 644 km (400 mi). Perigee: 363 km (225 mi). Inclination: 51.2000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. The Able-Star second stage demonstrated the first engine restart in space and the feasibility of using satellites as navigational aids. The first experimental Transit satellite to achieve orbit operated for 89 days. It transmitted on two frequency pairs to test the technique for refraction correction and to determine if the transmitted frequencies should be close together or far apart. It also tested a magnetic torque device for spacecraft attitude control - the first satellite to do so.
  • Dummy subsatellite - . Payload: GRAB dummy. Mass: 18 kg (39 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: GRAB. Decay Date: 1960-07-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 33 . COSPAR: 1960-Gamma-3. Apogee: 615 km (382 mi). Perigee: 285 km (177 mi). Inclination: 51.3000 deg. Period: 93.60 min.

1960 June 22 - . 05:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 281 AB003?.
  • Transit 2A - . Mass: 101 kg (222 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 45 . COSPAR: 1960-Eta-1. Apogee: 988 km (613 mi). Perigee: 604 km (375 mi). Inclination: 66.7000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Also returned geodetic data. Similar to Transit 1B, it transmitted until 26 October 1962. A planned Transit 2B was considered redundant and never built..
  • Solrad 1 - . Payload: GRAB 1. Mass: 19 kg (41 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: GRAB. USAF Sat Cat: 46 . COSPAR: 1960-Eta-2. Apogee: 935 km (580 mi). Perigee: 596 km (370 mi). Inclination: 66.7000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Summary: Solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1960 August 18 - . 19:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 262 AB004?. FAILURE: Exploded 2.5 minutes after launch.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Courier 1A - . Mass: 225 kg (496 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Courier. Decay Date: 1960-08-18 . COSPAR: F600818A. Summary: Experimental communications sattelite..

1960 October 4 - . 17:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 293 AB005.
  • Courier 1B - . Mass: 230 kg (500 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Courier. USAF Sat Cat: 58 . COSPAR: 1960-Nu-1. Apogee: 1,214 km (754 mi). Perigee: 967 km (600 mi). Inclination: 28.3000 deg. Period: 107.10 min. Summary: Experimental communications. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1960 November 30 - . 19:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 283 AB006. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Transit 3A - . Payload: Transit 3A. Mass: 91 kg (200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1960-11-30 . COSPAR: F601130A. Summary: Destroyed by range safety; launched with Solrad 2. Thor shut down too early..
  • Solrad 2 - . Payload: GRAB 2. Mass: 18 kg (39 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: GRAB. COSPAR: F601130B.

1961 February 22 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 313 AB007.
  • Transit 3B - . Mass: 112 kg (246 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1961-02-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 87 . COSPAR: 1961-Eta-1. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi). Perigee: 135 km (83 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 88.10 min. Lofti 1 piggyback payload did not separate. Nevertheless Transit 3B returned useful data needed for design of the operational satellites. It carried a digital clock driven by the same oscillator that drove the transmitters. It transmitted timing signals governed by the clock and a 384-bit memory. This allowed testing of the techniques for loading the memory from the ground, the ability of the memory to hold a message in orbit, and the ability to encode the memory contents by means of a frequency modulation on one of the main transmitters. It was also shown that ±60° phase modulation could be used to transmit the contents of the satellite memory without degradation of the accuracy of the Doppler signal and Doppler measurements.
  • Lofti - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Lofti. COSPAR: 1961-Eta-xx.
  • Lofti 1 - . Mass: 25 kg (55 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1961-03-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 87 . COSPAR: 1961-Eta-2. Apogee: 983 km (610 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 28.3000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. Summary: Failed to separate from Transit 3B..

1961 June 29 - . 04:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 315 AB008.
  • Transit 4A - . Mass: 79 kg (174 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 116 . COSPAR: 1961-Omicron-1. Apogee: 986 km (612 mi). Perigee: 865 km (537 mi). Inclination: 66.8000 deg. Period: 103.50 min. Summary: Transits 4A and 4B were drum-shaped instead of spherical to provide more space for solar cells. In addition, operational 150-and 400-MHz frequencies were used for the first time. Carried SNAP-3A nuclear power source..
  • Solrad 3 - . Payload: GRAB 3. Mass: 18 kg (39 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: GRAB. COSPAR: 1961-Omicron-xx.
  • Injun 1 - . Mass: 25 kg (55 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Injun. USAF Sat Cat: 117 . COSPAR: 1961-Omicron-2. Apogee: 992 km (616 mi). Perigee: 869 km (539 mi). Inclination: 66.8000 deg. Period: 103.60 min. Summary: Dual launch; failed to separate from Solrad 3; still returned radiation data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1961 November 15 - . 22:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 305 AB009?.
  • Transit 4B - . Mass: 86 kg (189 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 202 . COSPAR: 1961-A-Eta-1. Apogee: 1,104 km (685 mi). Perigee: 953 km (592 mi). Inclination: 32.4000 deg. Period: 105.70 min. Together, Transits 4A and 4B allowed the determination of harmonics in the Earth’s gravity field that had not yet been evaluated, and they also allowed firm navigational ties to be established from continent to continent as well as to isolated islands. As a result, it was discovered that the position of Hawaii was incorrect by 1 km. Carried SNAP 3 nuclear power source.
  • TRAAC - . Mass: 109 kg (240 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: TRAAC. USAF Sat Cat: 205 . COSPAR: 1961-A-Eta-2. Apogee: 1,107 km (687 mi). Perigee: 956 km (594 mi). Inclination: 32.4000 deg. Period: 105.80 min. Summary: Transit Research and Attitude Control. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 January 24 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 311 AB010. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Lofti 2 - . Mass: 99 kg (218 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Lofti 2. Decay Date: 1962-01-24 . COSPAR: F620124A. Summary: Carried 5 satellites..
  • Injun 2 - . Payload: Injun 2. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Injun. COSPAR: F620124D.
  • Solrad 4 - . Payload: GRAB 4. Mass: 18 kg (39 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: GRAB. COSPAR: F620124B.
  • Surcal - . Payload: Surcal. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Surcal. COSPAR: F620124E.
  • Secor - . Payload: Secor. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: SECOR. COSPAR: F620124C.

1962 May 10 - . 12:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 314 AB011. FAILURE: Able-Star failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Anna 1A - . Payload: Anna 1A. Mass: 160 kg (350 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: Anna. Decay Date: 1962-05-10 . COSPAR: F620510A. Summary: USN, USAF, US Army, NASA joint program..

1962 October 31 - . 08:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 319 AB012.
  • Anna 1B - . Mass: 161 kg (354 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: Anna. USAF Sat Cat: 446 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Mu-1. Apogee: 1,181 km (733 mi). Perigee: 1,075 km (667 mi). Inclination: 50.1000 deg. Period: 107.90 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1963 September 28 - . 20:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 375 AB013.
  • Transit 5BN-1 - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 670 . COSPAR: 1963-038B. Apogee: 1,125 km (699 mi). Perigee: 1,066 km (662 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 107.20 min. First test of nuclear-powered Transit operational prototype. Carried SNAP-9A nuclear power source. The satellite achieved gravity-gradient stabilization, but upside down, making the signal level too low for operational users with low-gain antennas. However, geodetic and navigational evaluation data were obtained.
  • Transit 5E-1 - . Payload: APL SN 39. Mass: 61 kg (134 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 671 . COSPAR: 1963-038C. Apogee: 1,123 km (697 mi). Perigee: 1,065 km (661 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 107.10 min. The missions of Satellite 1963-038C were to measure omnidirectional flux of protons and electrons at various energy levels, radiation effects on transistors, and the effectiveness of thermal coatings. The satellite was launched together with a classified Department of Defense spacecraft on September 28, 1963. Its planned orbit was apogee 1120 kilometres, perigee 1070 kilometres, inclination 88.9 degrees. The satellite weighed 62 kg; its body was in the shape of an 0.46 m x 0.25 m octagonal prism. It was powered by four solar blades and transmited on 136, 162, and 324 mcs. The spacecraft was built for the Bureau of Naval Weapons. In 1967 it was still sending usable data from all systems.

1963 December 5 - . 21:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 385 AB015.
  • Transit 5BN-2 - . Mass: 75 kg (165 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 704 . COSPAR: 1963-049B. Apogee: 1,110 km (680 mi). Perigee: 1,061 km (659 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Transit operational prototype powered by a SNAP-9A nuclear power source. First operational navigation satellite. It was used regularly by both surface and submarine units of the Navy until November 1964. From this point in time the US Navy had continuous use of satellite navigation.
  • Transit 5E-3 - . Mass: 53 kg (116 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 705 . COSPAR: 1963-049C. Apogee: 1,108 km (688 mi). Perigee: 1,060 km (650 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 106.90 min. Summary: Radiation monitoring..

1964 April 21 - . 18:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 379 AB014. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Transit 5BN-3 - . Mass: 75 kg (165 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1964-04-21 . COSPAR: F640421A. Summary: Carried SNAP-9A nuclear power source. After this launch failure it was decided that operational Transits would be solar-powered only..
  • Transit 5E-4 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. COSPAR: F640421B. Summary: Radiation monitoring..

1964 October 6 - . 17:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 423 AB016.
  • Transit O-1 - . Payload: NNS 30010 / Ablestar 016 / OPS 5798. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 897 . COSPAR: 1964-063B. Apogee: 1,077 km (669 mi). Perigee: 1,046 km (649 mi). Inclination: 90.2000 deg. Period: 106.40 min. Summary: Naval Avionics Facility-assembled production spacecraft. Failed after a few days operation..
  • Calsphere 1 - . Payload: Dragsphere 1. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Calsphere. USAF Sat Cat: 900 . COSPAR: 1964-063C. Apogee: 1,034 km (642 mi). Perigee: 997 km (619 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 105.50 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Calsphere 2 - . Payload: Dragsphere 2. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Calsphere. USAF Sat Cat: 902 . COSPAR: 1964-063E. Apogee: 1,078 km (669 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 90.2000 deg. Period: 106.50 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1964 December 13 - . 00:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 427 AB017.
  • Transit 5E-5 - . Payload: APL SN 43 / OPS 6582. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 959 . COSPAR: 1964-083C. Apogee: 1,064 km (661 mi). Perigee: 1,007 km (625 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 105.90 min. Summary: Celestial UV, magnetic field data..
  • Transit O-2 - . Payload: NNS 30020 / OPS 6582. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 965 . COSPAR: 1964-083D. Apogee: 1,079 km (670 mi). Perigee: 1,020 km (630 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 106.20 min. Summary: Naval Avionics Facility-assembled production spacecraft. Failed after a few days operation..

1965 March 11 - . 13:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 440 AB018.
  • Transit-O-3 - . Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. Decay Date: 1965-06-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 1303 . COSPAR: 1965-017A. Apogee: 418 km (259 mi). Perigee: 191 km (118 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. Summary: Naval Avionics Facility-assembled production spacecraft. Failed after a few weeks operation..
  • SECOR 2 - . Payload: EGRS 2. Mass: 18 kg (39 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USA ACE. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: SECOR. Decay Date: 1968-02-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 1250 . COSPAR: 1965-017B. Apogee: 1,014 km (630 mi). Perigee: 296 km (183 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 97.90 min. Summary: Failed. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1965 June 24 - . 22:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 447 AB019.
  • Transit O-4 - . Payload: NNS 30040 / OPS 8480. Mass: 61 kg (134 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 1420 . COSPAR: 1965-048A. Apogee: 1,125 km (699 mi). Perigee: 1,016 km (631 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 106.60 min. Summary: Spacecraft built by Naval Avionics Facility, but refurbished by APL. Operated for 7 to 11 months, but then failed due to poor workmanship of NAFI components..

1965 August 13 - . 22:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar-2 455 AB020.
  • Dodecapole 2 - . Payload: PORCUPINE 2. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: DODECAPOLE. USAF Sat Cat: 1510 . COSPAR: 1965-065C. Apogee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Perigee: 979 km (608 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 105.40 min. Summary: Surveillance Calibration; dodecahedron; extended 12 25 ft. antennas. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • SURCAL 5 - . Payload: NRL PL150C?. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: SURCAL. USAF Sat Cat: 1521 . COSPAR: 1965-065K. Apogee: 1,196 km (743 mi). Perigee: 1,083 km (672 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 108.11 min.
  • Transit O-5 - . Payload: NNS 30050 / OPS 8464. Mass: 61 kg (134 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 1514 . COSPAR: 1965-065F. Apogee: 1,183 km (735 mi). Perigee: 1,078 km (669 mi). Inclination: 89.9000 deg. Period: 107.90 min. Summary: Naval Avionics Facility-assembled production spacecraft. Failed after a few weeks operation..
  • Tempsat 1 - . Mass: 9.00 kg (19.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Tempsat. USAF Sat Cat: 1512 . COSPAR: 1965-065E. Apogee: 1,188 km (738 mi). Perigee: 1,082 km (672 mi). Inclination: 89.9000 deg. Period: 108.00 min. Summary: Surveillance Calibration; black 14 inch dia. sphere. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Long Rod - . Payload: Navspasur Rod. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Surcal. USAF Sat Cat: 1515 . COSPAR: 1965-065G. Apogee: 1,194 km (741 mi). Perigee: 1,090 km (670 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 108.10 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Calsphere 4A - . Payload: NRL PL 158?. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Calsphere. USAF Sat Cat: 1520 . COSPAR: 1965-065H. Apogee: 1,179 km (732 mi). Perigee: 1,077 km (669 mi). Inclination: 90.1000 deg. Period: 107.90 min. Summary: Surveillance Calibration; white 14 inch dia. sphere. .

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