Delta N

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Not to be confused with N-I (rocket) or N-II (rocket).
Delta N
Delta N6 rocket with ITOS satellite.jpg
Delta N6 prior to the launch of ITOS B
Function Expendable launch system
Country of origin  United States
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Cape Canaveral LC-17A
Vandenberg SLC-2
Total launches 9
Successes 8
Failures 1
First flight 18 September 1968
Last flight 12 March 1972

The Delta N or Thor-Delta N was an American expendable launch system used for nine orbital launches between 1968 and 1972. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets, and the last Delta to be given an alphabetical designation - subsequent rockets were designated using a four digit numerical code.

The Delta N consisted of two stages. The first stage was the Long Tank Thor, a stretched version of the Thor missile, previously flown on the Delta L and Delta M. Three Castor-2 solid rocket boosters were attached to increase thrust at lift-off. A Delta E was used as the second stage. If an increased payload capacity was required, six boosters were flown instead of three, in a configuration known as the Delta N6, or "Super Six". Three launches used the N6 configuration.

Delta N rockets were launched from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and SLC-2 at Vandenberg AFB. One of the launches, a Delta N6 with ITOS B, failed. The satellite was placed into an incorrect and unusable orbit.


  • Wade, Mark. "Delta". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Thor family". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-02-11.