Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor MG-18


American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x MG-18

Status: Retired 1965.
Gross mass: 50,000 kg (110,000 lb).
Height: 23.00 m (75.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 668.00 kN (150,172 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1965.01.19.
Last Launch: 1965.03.18.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • DMSP Block 4A American earth weather satellite. 13 launches, 1965.01.19 (DMSP-Block-4A F1) to 1969.07.23 (DMSP-Block-4A F13). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. 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
  • DMSP The first CORONA photos in August 1960 convinced authorities that knowledge of cloud cover over Russia was necessary and could be obtained only via satellite. Since the civilian TIROS program could not yet meet the requirement, the Director, National Reconnaissance Office authorized an 'interim' effort - the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The satellite series continued to be updated and served into the 21st Century. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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 SLC10W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a launch emplacement in 1965. 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 MG-18 Chronology


1965 January 19 - . 05:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor MG-18. LV Configuration: Thor MG-18 224.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F1 - . Payload: DAPP 10 / OPS 7040. Mass: 150 kg (330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Decay Date: 1979-07-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 973 . COSPAR: 1965-003A. Apogee: 833 km (517 mi). Perigee: 462 km (287 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Launch date was January 18, 1965. The launch was successful and correct orbit was achieved. However, the heat shield on the second stage did not deploy correctly and the mission objectives were not fully realized. This first Burner I bird is distinguishable in photos by its black second stage.

1965 March 18 - . 04:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor MG-18. LV Configuration: Thor MG-18 306.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F2 - . Payload: DAPP 11 / OPS 7353. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Decay Date: 1989-12-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 1273 . COSPAR: 1965-021A. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi). Perigee: 139 km (86 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 87.30 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. A fully successful launch with all objectives met. The night launch time of 2100 hrs Vandenberg time with a 5 minute launch window was the same for both the first and second Burner I launches..

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