Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thor Comsat


The Thor communication satellites are orbited by Telenor of Norway and provide television services to Scandinavia. Thor 1 satellite was originally orbited by British Satellite Broadcasting as Marcopolo 2. It was purchased on orbit in 1992 from BSB.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • HS 376 American communications satellite. 56 launches, 1980.11.15 (SBS 1) to 2003.09.27 (E-Bird). Mass 654 kg at beginning-of-life in geosynchronous orbit. Spin stabilized at 50 rpm by 4 hydrazine thrusters with 136 kg propellant. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta 6925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27+ 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...
  • Delta 7925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...
  • Delta 7925-9.5 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B with 2.9 m (9.5 foot) diameter fairing) More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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...

Thor Comsat Chronology


1990 August 18 - . 00:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 6925. LV Configuration: Delta 6925 D198.
  • Thor 1 / BSB-R2 - . Payload: Marco Polo 2. Mass: 1,220 kg (2,680 lb). Nation: Norway. Agency: BSB. Program: Thor Comsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 20762 . COSPAR: 1990-074A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. UK DBS; 31 deg W. Direct broadcasting system. Expected operational life 12.5 yr. Owner/operator: British Sky Broadcasting Ltd, 6 Centaurs Business Park, Grant Way, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 5QD. Sold on-orbit in 1992 to Telenor Norway and redesignated Thor 1. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 50 deg W in 1990; 31 deg W in 1991-1992; 1 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 3 September 2001 located at 0.72 deg W drifting at 0.001 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 61.51W drifting at 3.830W degrees per day.

1997 May 20 - . 22:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. LV Configuration: Delta 7925 D243.
  • Thor 2 - . Payload: Thor 2A. Nation: Norway. Agency: Telenor. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Thor Comsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 24808 . COSPAR: 1997-025A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geosynchronous. Stationed over 0.8W Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 1 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 0.73 deg W drifting at 0.000 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 0.76W drifting at 0.002W degrees per day..

1998 June 10 - . 00:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7925-9.5 D258.
  • Thor 3 - . Nation: Norway. Agency: Telenor. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Thor Comsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 25358 . COSPAR: 1998-035A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. The spacecraft was delivered to its final orbit in a complex series of five engine burns by three rocket stages. The Delta's second stage demonstrated its restart capability in 4 burns: Burn 1 placed the rocket and payload into a low circular orbit; Burn 2 raised the apogee to 1400 km; Burn 3 circularised the orbit at 1400 km. The second stage then separated, and Burn 4 lowered the spent stage's perigee to a low altitude to ensure the stage would decay quickly and not add to the space junk already on orbit. Stage 3 burned once to place the payload and its kick motor into a high 1400 km perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit. The Stage 4 Star 30 apogee kick motor circularised the spacecraft's orbit at geostationary altitude. Geostationary at 0.8 degrees W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 1 deg W in 1998-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 0.83 deg W drifting at 0.000 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 0.85W drifting at 0.002W degrees per day.

2008 February 11 - . 11:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton/Briz M.
  • Thor 5 - . Mass: 1,940 kg (4,270 lb). Nation: Norway. Agency: ILS. Program: Thor Comsat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Star bus. USAF Sat Cat: 32487 . COSPAR: 2008-006A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ku-band light geostationary satellite operated by Telenor Satellite Broadcasting..

2009 October 29 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Thor 6 - . Payload: Spacebus 4000B2. Mass: 3,050 kg (6,720 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Thor Comsat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 36033 . COSPAR: 2009-058B. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Direct broadcast satellite stationed at 1 deg W..

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