Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thorad Agena D SLV-2H



thad6951.jpg
LT Thor Agena D
LT Thor Agena D - COSPAR 1969-051
Thor Agena upgraded with Long Tank Thor stage. Variant with straight tank from Delta was Thorad (Long Tank Augmented Thrust Thor Delta)

3 stage vehicle consisting of 3 x Castor 2 + 1 x LT Thor DSV-2L-1A + 1 x Agena D

AKA: Long Tank Augmented Thrust Thor; DSV-2L; SLV-2H.
Status: Retired 1972.
Gross mass: 88,731 kg (195,618 lb).
Height: 34.00 m (111.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,571.00 kN (353,174 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1969.06.05.
Last Launch: 1972.05.25.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Ferret American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 19 launches, 1962.02.21 (Ferret 1) to 1971.07.16 (OPS 8373). More...
  • Ferret American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 19 launches, 1962.02.21 (Ferret 1) to 1971.07.16 (OPS 8373). More...
  • SSF American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 54 launches, 1963.03.18 (P-11 No. 1) to 1989.08.08 (USA 41). More...
  • SSF American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 54 launches, 1963.03.18 (P-11 No. 1) to 1989.08.08 (USA 41). More...
  • OGO American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1964.09.05 (OGO 1) to 1969.06.05 (OGO 6). More...
  • OGO American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1964.09.05 (OGO 1) to 1969.06.05 (OGO 6). More...
  • KH-4B American military surveillance satellite. 24 launches, 1967.09.15 (KH-4B 1101) to 1972.05.25 (KH-4B 1117). Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried two 'J-3' panoramic cameras, with a focal length of 61 cm, and a ground resolution of 1.8 m. More...
  • KH-4B American military surveillance satellite. 24 launches, 1967.09.15 (KH-4B 1101) to 1972.05.25 (KH-4B 1117). Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried two 'J-3' panoramic cameras, with a focal length of 61 cm, and a ground resolution of 1.8 m. More...

Associated Engines
  • Bell 8096 Bell Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 71.2 kN. Out of production. Isp=292s. Used in Agena stage on top of Thor, Atlas, and Titan launch vehicles. First flight 1963. More...
  • M33-20-4 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 286 kN. Isp=247s. Used as apogee kick motor on Delta D, LT Thor Agena D, Scout X-1, Scout X-2, Scout X-3, Scout X-4, TA Thor Agena B, TA Thor Agena D. First flight 1960. More...
  • MB-3-3 Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 866.7 kN. Out of Production. License built in Japan for H-1. Isp=290s. First flight 1964. 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...
  • 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...
  • Douglas American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, USA. 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 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 SLC1W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC3W Delta, Atlas launch complex. First designated LC1-1 and used to launch Atlas Agena B with Samos payloads. After Samos cancellation, rebuilt in 1963 to support launch of KH-4 Corona spysats atop Thor-Agena. Refurbished in 1973 to accomodate surplus Atlas ICBM's in space launch role. More...

Associated Stages
  • Agena D Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,821/673 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. One of the real workhorses of US space exploration, Agena was a restartable upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. A mainstay of the US Air Force reconnaisance satellite program, it also boosted early NASA probes to the moon and planets. Agena played a key role in manned space flight as the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. It More...
  • Agena D Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,821/673 kg. Thrust 71.17 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. One of the real workhorses of US space exploration, Agena was a restartable upper stage which was also employed as a spacecraft, the whole vehicle going into orbit. A mainstay of the US Air Force reconnaisance satellite program, it also boosted early NASA probes to the moon and planets. Agena played a key role in manned space flight as the target vehicle for rendezvous and docking manoeuvres in NASA's Gemini project. It More...
  • Castor 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,424/695 kg. Thrust 258.92 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 262 seconds. More...
  • Castor 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,424/695 kg. Thrust 258.92 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 262 seconds. More...
  • Delta Thor LT Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 70,354/3,715 kg. Thrust 866.71 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 290 seconds. More...
  • Delta Thor LT Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 70,354/3,715 kg. Thrust 866.71 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 290 seconds. More...

Thorad Agena D SLV-2H Chronology


1969 June 5 - . 14:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 526 (TA11) / Agena D 6803.
  • OGO 6 - . Payload: OGO F. Mass: 634 kg (1,397 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OGO. Decay Date: 1979-10-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3986 . COSPAR: 1969-051A. Apogee: 1,089 km (676 mi). Perigee: 397 km (246 mi). Inclination: 82.0000 deg. Period: 99.70 min. OGO 6 was a large observatory instrumented with 26 experiments designed to study the various interrelationships between, and latitudinal distributions of, high-altitude atmospheric parameters during a period of increased solar activity. On June 22, 1969, the spacecraft potential dropped significantly during sunlight operation and remained so during subsequent sunlight operation. This unexplained shift affected seven experiments which made measurements dependent upon knowledge of the spacecraft plasma sheath. During October 1969, a string of solar cells failed, but the only effect of the decreased power was to cause two experiments to change their mode of operation. Also during October 1969, a combination of manual and automatic attitude control was initiated, which extended the control gas lifetime of the attitude control system. In August 1970, tape recorder (TR) no. 1 operation degraded, so all recorded data were subsequently taken with TR no. 2. By September 1970, power and equipment degradation left 14 experiments operating normally, 3 partially, and 9 off. From October 14, 1970, TR no. 2 was used only on Wednesdays (world days) to conserve power and extend TR operation. In June 1971, the number of 'on' experiments decreased from 13 to 7, and on June 28, 1971, the spacecraft was placed in a spin-stabilized mode about the yaw (Z) axis and turned off due to difficulties with spacecraft power. OGO 6 was turned on again from October 10, 1971, through March 1972, for operation of experiment 25 by The Radio Research Laboratory, Japan.

1969 July 24 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 545 / Agena D 1652.
  • KH-4B 1107 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1107 / Agena D 1652 / OPS 3654. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1969-08-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 4050 . COSPAR: 1969-063A. Apogee: 203 km (126 mi). Perigee: 182 km (113 mi). Inclination: 74.9000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Summary: KH-4B. Forward camera failed on pass 1 and remained inoperative throughout the rest of the mission..

1969 December 4 - . 21:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 549 / Agena D 1655.
  • KH-4B 1108 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1108 / Agena D 1655 / OPS 6617. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1970-01-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 4264 . COSPAR: 1969-105A. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi). Perigee: 161 km (100 mi). Inclination: 81.4000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Summary: KH-4B. Cameras operated satisfactorily and the mission carried 811 ft of aerial color film added to the end of the film supply..

1970 March 4 - . 22:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 551 / Agena D 1657.
  • KH-4B 1109 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1109 / Agena D 1657 / OPS 0440. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1970-03-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 4342 . COSPAR: 1970-016A. Apogee: 257 km (159 mi). Perigee: 167 km (103 mi). Inclination: 88.0000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Summary: KH-4B. Cameras operated satisfactorily but the overall image quality of both the forward and aft records is variable..
  • OPS 3402 - . Payload: EHH B18. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1971-11-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 4343 . COSPAR: 1970-016xx. Apogee: 164 km (101 mi). Perigee: 164 km (101 mi). Inclination: 88.1000 deg. Period: 87.80 min.
  • SRV 819 - . Payload: SRV 1109-1 / OPS 3402. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1971-11-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 4343 . COSPAR: 1970-016B. Apogee: 509 km (316 mi). Perigee: 441 km (274 mi). Inclination: 88.1000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. Summary: Radar monitoring; may or may not have existed!!!.

1970 May 20 - . 21:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 555 / Agena D 1656.
  • KH-4B 1110 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1110 / Agena D 1656 / OPS 4720. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1970-06-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 4405 . COSPAR: 1970-040A. Apogee: 247 km (153 mi). Perigee: 162 km (100 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Summary: KH-4B. The overall image quality is less than that provided by recent missions and 2,000 feet of S0-349.
  • OPS 8520 - . Payload: EHH B19. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1974-03-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 4406 . COSPAR: 1970-040B. Apogee: 499 km (310 mi). Perigee: 490 km (300 mi). Inclination: 83.1000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Summary: Radar monitoring; may or may not have existed!!!..

1970 July 23 - . 01:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 556 / Agena D 1654.
  • KH-4B 1111 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1111 / Agena D 1654 / OPS 4324. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1970-08-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 4477 . COSPAR: 1970-054A. Apogee: 379 km (235 mi). Perigee: 156 km (96 mi). Inclination: 59.9000 deg. Period: 89.80 min. Summary: KH-4B. The overall image quality is good..

1970 November 18 - . 21:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 552 / Agena D 1658.
  • KH-4B 1112 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1112 / Agena D 1658 / OPS 4992. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1970-12-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 4721 . COSPAR: 1970-098A. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: KH-4B. The forward camera failed on pass 104 and remained inoperative throughout the rest of the mission..
  • SRV 827 - . Payload: SRV 1112-1 / OPS 6829. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1977-09-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 4722 . COSPAR: 1970-098B. Apogee: 505 km (313 mi). Perigee: 493 km (306 mi). Inclination: 83.1000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. Summary: Radar monitoring..
  • OPS 6829 - . Payload: EHH B20. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1977-09-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 4722 . COSPAR: 1970-098xx. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 83.2000 deg. Period: 88.50 min.

1971 February 17 - . 20:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 537 / Agena D 1659. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • KH-4B 1113 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1113. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1971-02-17 . COSPAR: F710217A. KH-4B. The launch vehicle had a very cold boattail due to a hose discovered to be leaking away warming air to the boattail. The boattail was colder than usual, below freezing. Based on earlier tests of the Thor for just that condition, as relayed by Ed Dierdorf, Thor chief engineer at the time, the temp low was of no concern.

    The only problem was that those tests were made with a Thor that carried a Rocketdyne engine lubricated with "lube oil". The Thor being launched used a fuel additive, "Orinite" (like STP "super snot"). The technician that pumped the Orinite into its cannister later stated, "It wasn't for lack of orinite. I put it in just like the procedure said, and I could feel when it was full (with the hand pump). To make sure, I gave it another slug."

    That "other slug" cracked the output valve that was only supposed to be cracked by turbopump output pressure. When it cracked the output valve a bit of the "honey" squirted down the tube toward engine bearing jets. This line had a low spot in it by design. The Orinite settled there. When it was chilled by the low temp air at lox loading, the Orinite formed a plug.

    Unaware of this chain of circumstances, Launch Director Philip Payne made the decision to launch. The rocket (carrying Agena D and payload) flew for 18 seconds, then wiped out its gears, causing the turbine to overspeed and shed its vanes. These punctured various parts in the boattail like machine gun bullets. With loss of power, the rocket fell not far from the launch pad into Bear Creek canyon.

    The final cause was therefore found to be loss of engine lubrication at startup.

  • SRV 825 - . Payload: SRV 1113-1. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-4B. COSPAR: F710217B.
  • SRV 826 - . Payload: SRV 1113-2. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-4B. COSPAR: F710217C.

1971 March 24 - . 21:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 538 / Agena D 1660.
  • KH-4B 1114 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1114 / Agena D 1660 / OPS 5300. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1971-04-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 5059 . COSPAR: 1971-022A. Apogee: 245 km (152 mi). Perigee: 156 km (96 mi). Inclination: 81.5000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Summary: KH-4B. The overall image quality is good and comparable to the best of past missions. On-board program failed.

1971 July 16 - . 10:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 550 / Agena D 2737.
  • OPS 8373 - . Payload: Ferret 16 / Agena D 2737?. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Ferret. Decay Date: 1978-08-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 5329 . COSPAR: 1971-060A. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi). Perigee: 450 km (270 mi). Inclination: 74.9000 deg. Period: 93.60 min.

1971 September 10 - . 21:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 567 / Agena D 1662.
  • KH-4B 1115 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1115 / Agena D 1662 / OPS 5454. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1971-10-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 5468 . COSPAR: 1971-076A. Apogee: 234 km (145 mi). Perigee: 157 km (97 mi). Inclination: 74.9000 deg. Period: 88.30 min. Summary: KH-4B. Overall image quality is good..
  • SRV 831 - . Payload: SRV 1115-1 / OPS 7681. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1976-02-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 5469 . COSPAR: 1971-076B. Apogee: 516 km (320 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 75.0000 deg. Period: 94.70 min. Summary: Radar monitoring..
  • OPS 7681 - . Payload: EHH B21. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1976-02-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 5469 . COSPAR: 1971-076xx. Apogee: 197 km (122 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 75.0000 deg. Period: 88.30 min.

1972 April 19 - . 21:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 569 / Agena D 1661.
  • KH-4B 1116 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1116 / Agena D 1661 / OPS 5640. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1972-05-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 6003 . COSPAR: 1972-032A. Apogee: 276 km (171 mi). Perigee: 154 km (95 mi). Inclination: 81.0000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Summary: KH-4B. Very successful mission and image quality was good..

1972 May 25 - . 18:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2H. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2H Agena D 571 / Agena D 1663.
  • KH-4B 1117 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1117 / Agena D 1663 / OPS 6371. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1972-06-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 6037 . COSPAR: 1972-039A. Apogee: 305 km (189 mi). Perigee: 158 km (98 mi). Inclination: 96.3000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. Summary: KH-4B. Last KH-4B mission. Very successful mission, image quality was good. Final CORONA mission..

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