Launch of the Transit 1A satellite on a Thor-Able II
|Function||Expendable launch system
|Country of origin||United States|
|Height||26.9 metres (88 ft) - 27.8 metres (91 ft)|
|Diameter||2.44 metres (8 ft 0 in)|
|Mass||51,608 kilograms (113,776 lb)|
|120 kilograms (260 lb)|
|Launch sites||LC-17A, Canaveral|
|First flight||24 April 1958|
|Last flight||1 April 1960|
|First Stage - Thor|
|Thrust||758.71 kilonewtons (170,560 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||282 sec|
|Burn time||165 seconds|
|Second Stage - Able|
|Thrust||34.69 kilonewtons (7,800 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||270 sec|
|Burn time||115 seconds|
|Third Stage (optional) - Altair|
|Thrust||12.45 kilonewtons (2,800 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||256 sec|
|Burn time||38 seconds|
The Thor-Able was an American expendable launch system and sounding rocket used for a series of re-entry vehicle tests and satellite launches between 1958 and 1960. It was a two stage rocket, consisting of a Thor IRBM as a first stage, and a Vanguard-derived Able second stage. On some flights, an Altair solid rocket motor was added as a third stage. It was a member of the Thor family, and an early predecessor of the Delta.
Sixteen Thor-Ables were launched, nine on sub-orbital re-entry vehicle test flights, and seven on orbital satellite launch attempts. Six launches resulted in failures, however three of those failures were the result of an Altair upper stage added to the rocket to allow it to launch the spacecraft onto a trans-lunar trajectory. All sixteen launches occurred from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 17A.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Thor Able". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Wade, Mark. "Delta". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Lethbridge, Cliff. "Thor-Able Fact Sheet". Cape Canaveral Rocket and Missile Programs. Spaceline. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Helen T. Wells, Susan H. Whiteley, and Carrie E. Karegeannes. Origin of NASA Names. NASA Science and Technical Information Office. p. 5.