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Thor DM-18
Part of Thor

RAF Training Launch

RAF Training Launch
Successful training launch by the Royal Air Force with the USAF 392nd Squadron acting as instructors. This launch was from the launch complex that consisted of launch pads 6, 7 and 8. During this time we were using all three launch pads for RAF training. This was the fourth RAF Thor training launch. Launch date was August 3, 1959.
Credit: Larry Rhoads

American orbital launch vehicle. Single stage vehicle adapted from Thor IRBM with no upper stage.

Status: Retired 1958. First Launch: 1957-01-26. Last Launch: 1958-08-06. Number: 18 . Thrust: 667.20 kN (149,993 lbf). Gross mass: 49,340 kg (108,770 lb). Height: 22.00 m (72.00 ft). Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft). Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

Sixty Thors were deployed to missile sites in Great Britain under Project Emily. Philip Payne worked for Rocketdyne as their manager in England. He recalls:

Those days I worked for Rocketdyne as the manager in England of Project Emily. Our mission: get 60 Thors aimed at Khrushchev's privates. Things were going badly for lots of reasons, many of them lack of earnest concentration by many Americans in corporations as well as USAF. I was p....d and often loudly said so.

One day a dignified, little American man came to me at Feltwell, Cambridgeshire, England, site of the first squadron (if we could ever get it installed and checked out) and told me he heard I was the one to talk to find out what was wrong. I was bad on names then, in my youth and so for hours as I laid it on him, I did not realize until late in the day I was talking to the American Secretary of Defense, Charlie Wilson.

I was so apolitical an engineer turned executive, that I did not bother to tell my company of this until, receiving a muted blast vis vis Douglas, they told me. Douglas sent over Bill Duval to replace Earl Neff.....

Thereafter things improved. After a few years the Thors were withdrawn from Britain (and the Jupiters from Turkey) as part of the secret codicil of Kennedy's deal to end the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Development Cost $: 500.000 million. Launch Price $: 4.930 million in 1958 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost 1985$: 0.750 million in 1958 dollars. Total Development Built: 64. Total Production Built: 160.

Stage Data - Thor DM-18


More at: Thor DM-18.

Family: orbital launch vehicle. Country: USA. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC17B, Cape Canaveral LC17A, Cape Canaveral LC18B. Stages: Thor DM-19. Agency: Douglas.

1957 January 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Lox contamination, led to a valve failure. Thrust decayed, the booster settled back through the thrust ring, causing an oxygen fire, followed by booster explosion.. Failed Stage: 1.
1957 April 20 - . 04:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Console wiring error resulted in erroneous tracking indication; destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: G.
1957 May 22 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1957 August 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1957 September 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1957 October 3 - . 17:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1957 October 11 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Turbopump gearbox failure..
1957 October 24 - . 16:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1957 December 7 - . 22:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1957 December 19 - . 20:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1958 January 28 - . 20:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1958 February 28 - . 13:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1958 April 19 - . 13:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1958 June 4 - . 21:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1958 June 13 - . 15:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1958 July 13 - . 06:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
1958 July 26 - . 06:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
1958 August 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.

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