List of Thor and Delta launches (1970–79)

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From 1969 until the end of 1978, Thor-Delta was NASA's most popular launcher, with 84 launch attempts.[1] NASA used it to launch its own satellites, and also to launch satellites for other government agencies and foreign governments. Out of the 84 attempts there were seven failures or partial failures.[2]

Here is an incomplete list of Thor and Delta launches in the 1970s.

1970[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1970-01-15
00:16
Delta M Delta 75
Thor 557
CCAFS SLC-17A Intelsat 3-6 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1970-01-23
11:52
Delta N6 Delta 76
Thor 542
VAFB SLC-2W ITOS 1 / Oscar 5 Weather Satellite / Amateur radio satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1970-02-04
02:59
Thorad SLV-2G Agena-D Thor 534
Agena Unknown
VAFB SLC-2E SERT 2 Technological demonstration satellite MEO Successful
1970-02-11
08:40
Thor Burner 2 Thor 287 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5A-F1 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1970-03-04
22:15
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 551
Agena 1657
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1109) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1970-03-20
23:46
Delta M Delta 77
Thor 558
CCAFS SLC-17A NATO 1 Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1970-03-27
07:37
Thor DSV-2J Thor 152 Johnston LE-1 ASAT test Suborbital Success
1970-04-08
08:17
Thorad SLV-2G Agena-D Thor 553
Agena 6223
VAFB SLC-2E Nimbus 4 / TOPO-1 Weather satellite / Geodesic research satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1970-04-23
00:46
Delta M Delta 78
Thor 559
CCAFS SLC-17A Intelsat 3-7 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1970-04-24
Thor DSV-2J Thor 225 Johnston LE-1 Satellite Inspection test Suborbital Failure Thor collided with satellite.
1970-05-20
21:35
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 555
Agena 1657
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1110) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1970-07-23
01:25
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 556
Agena 1654
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1111) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1970-07-23
23:23
Delta M Delta 79
Thor 563
CCAFS SLC-17A Intelsat 3-8 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1970-08-19
12:11
Delta M Delta 80
Thor 561
CCAFS SLC-17A Skynet-1B Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1970-08-26
10:01
Thorad SLV-2G Agena-D Thor 535
Agena 2736
VAFB SLC-1W Ferret 15 (OPS 8329) ELINT LEO Successful
1970-09-03
08:39
Thor Burner 2 Thor 288 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5A-F2 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1970-09-24
12:54
Thor DSV-2J Thor 271 Johnston LE-2 Astronomy research flight Suborbital Successful
1970-11-18
21:29
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 552
Agena 1658
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1112) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1970-12-11
11:35
Delta N6 Delta 81
Thor 546
VAFB SLC-2W NOAA-1 Weather Satellite LEO / SSO Successful

1971[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1971-02-03
01:41
Delta M Delta 82
Thor 560
CCAFS SLC-17A NATO 2 Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1971-02-17
03:52
Thor Burner 2 Thor 249 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5A-F3 / Calsphere 3A / Calsphere 4 / Calsphere 5 Military weather satellite / Technology demonstration (x3) LEO / SSO Successful
1971-02-17
20:04
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 537
Agena 1659
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1113) Reconnaissance LEO Failure Improper pre-flight procedure caused frozen lubricant to form a plug that resulted in complete turbopump failure 18 seconds after liftoff. The booster lost thrust and impacted the ground not far from the launch complex.
1971-03-13
16:15
Delta M6 Delta 83
Thor 562
CCAFS SLC-17A Explorer 43 (IMP-H) Magnetosphere research satellite HEO Successful
1971-03-24
21:05
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 538
Agena 1660
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1114) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1971-04-01
02:53
Delta E1 Delta 84
Thor 491
VAFB SLC-2E ISIS-II Ionosphere research satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1971-06-08
14:00
Thor Burner 2 Thor 210 VAFB SLC-10W SESP-1 (P70-1) Technological demonstration satellite LEO Successful
1971-07-16
21:29
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 552
Agena 1658
VAFB SLC-1W Ferret 16 (OPS 8373) ELINT LEO Successful
1971-09-10
21:33
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 567
Agena 1662
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1115) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1971-09-29
09:50
Delta N Delta 85
Thor 565
CCAFS SLC-17A OSO 7 / TTS-4 Solar observation satellite / Technology demonstration LEO, 321×572 km, 93.2 min, i=33.1°, e=0.0184 Successful 2nd stage suffered a failure of the attitude control system, however the satellite reached orbit and ground controllers were able to correct its flight path.[3]
1971-10-14
07:51
Thor Burner 2A Thor 159 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5B-F1 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1971-10-17
13:36
Thorad SLV-2G Agena-D Thor 570
Agena Unknown
VAFB SLC-1W ASTEX (P71-2) Technological demonstration satellite LEO Successful
1971-10-21
11:32
Delta N6 Delta 86
Thor 572
VAFB SLC-2E ITOS-B Weather Satellite planned: LEO / SSO Failure 2nd stage oxidizer leak starting at T+20 seconds. The attitude control system ran out of propellant trying to correct the stage's flight path and the launch vehicle reentered the atmosphere and broke up above the Arctic Circle.
1971-12-14
21:13
Thorad SLV-2G Agena-D Thor 568
Agena Unknown
VAFB SLC-1W Poppy (OPS 7898) (x4) ELINT LEO Successful Final flight of SLV-2G

1972[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1972-01-31
17:20
Delta L Delta 87
Thor 564
VAFB SLC-2E HEOS-2 Magnetosphere research satellite HEO Successful
1972-03-12
00:00
Delta N Delta 88
Thor 573
VAFB SLC-2E TD-1A Astronomical research satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1972-03-24
08:46
Thor Burner 2A Thor 153 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5B-F2 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1972-04-19
21:43
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 569
Agena 1661
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1116) Reconnaissance LEO Successful
1972-05-25
18:41
Thorad SLV-2H Agena-D Thor 571
Agena 1663
VAFB SLC-3W KH-4B (S/N 1117) Reconnaissance LEO Successful Final flight of Thorad-Agena
Last Corona spacecraft
1972-07-23
18:06
Delta 904[4] Delta 89
Thor 574
VAFB SLC-2W Landsat 1 Earth Resource Technology Satellite 917 km LEO, near polar, Sun synchronous. Successful, decommissioned Jan. 6, 1978. First use of 9 strap-on SRBs. Discovered Landsat Island.
1972-09-23
13:20
Delta 1604 Delta 90
Thor 579
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 47 (IMP-I) Magnetospheric research satellite HEO Successful, operated until October 31, 1978 First successful flight of Delta-1000 series.
1972-10-15
17:17
Delta 300 Delta 91
Thor 575
VAFB SLC-2W NOAA-2 / Oscar 6 Weather Satellite / Amateur Radio Satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1972-11-09
03:43
Thor Burner 2A Thor 294 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5B-F3 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1972-11-10
01:14
Delta 1914 Delta 92
Thor 580
CCAFS SLC-17B Anik-A1 Communication Satellite GTO Successful
1972-12-11
07:56
Delta 900 Delta 93
Thor 577
VAFB SLC-2W Nimbus-5 Weather Satellite LEO / SSO Successful

1973[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1973-04-20
23:47
Delta 1914 Delta 94
Thor 583
CCAFS SLC-17B Anik-A2 Communication Satellite GTO Successful
1973-06-10
14:13
Delta 1913 Delta 95
Thor 581
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 49 (RAE-B) Radio astronomy satellite Lunar Orbit Successful
1973-07-16
17:10
Delta 300 Delta 96
Thor 578
VAFB SLC-2W ITOS-E Weather Satellite planned: LEO / SSO Failure Hydraulic pump malfunction led to failure of the 2nd stage attitude control system. The booster and payload reentered the atmosphere and broke up.
1973-08-17
04:49
Thor Burner 2A Thor 291 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5B-F4 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1973-10-26
02:26
Delta 1604 Delta 97
Thor 582
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 50 (IMP-J) Magnetospheric research satellite HEO Successful
1973-11-06
14:02
Delta 300 Delta 98
Thor 576
VAFB SLC-2W NOAA-3 Weather Satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1973-12-16
06:18
Delta 1900 Delta 99
Thor 585
VAFB SLC-2W Explorer 51 (AE-C) Atmospheric research satellite MEO Successful

1974[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1974-01-19
01:38
Delta 2313 Delta 100
Thor 587
CCAFS SLC-17B Skynet-2A Military communication satellite planned: GTO Failure First flight of the Delta 2000 series. Stage 2 electronics package short circuited (induced by a piece of conductive contaminant shaken loose during launch), leading to loss of control.
1974-03-16
08:00
Thor Burner 2A Thor 207 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5B-F5 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1974-04-13
21:33
Delta 2914 Delta 101
Thor 588
CCAFS SLC-17B Westar-1 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1974-05-17
10:31
Delta 2914 Delta 102
Thor 590
CCAFS SLC-17B SMS-1 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1974-08-09
03:22
Thor Burner 2A Thor 275 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5C-F1 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1974-10-10
22:53
Delta 2914 Delta 103
Thor 589
CCAFS SLC-17B Westar-2 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1974-11-15
17:11
Delta 2310 Delta 104
Thor 592
VAFB SLC-2W NOAA-4 / Oscar 7 / Intasat Weather Satellite / Amateur radio satellite / Ionosphere research LEO / SSO Successful
1974-11-23
00:28
Delta 2313 Delta 105
Thor 591
CCAFS SLC-17B Skynet-2B Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1974-12-19
02:39
Delta 2914 Delta 106
Thor 599
CCAFS SLC-17B Symphonie-1 Communication satellite GTO Successful

1975[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1975-01-22
17:56
Delta 2910 Delta 107
Thor 598
VAFB SLC-2W Landsat 2 Earth Resource Technology Satellite 917 km LEO, near polar, Sun synchronous. Successful Satellite operated until Feb 25, 1982.
1975-02-06
22:04
Delta 2914 Delta 108
Thor 593
CCAFS SLC-17B SMS-2 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1975-04-10
23:50
Delta 1410 Delta 109
Thor 584
VAFB SLC-2W GEOS-C Geodetic research satellite LEO Successful
1975-05-07
23:35
Delta 2914 Delta 110
Thor 596
CCAFS SLC-17B Anik-A3 Communication Satellite GTO Successful
1975-05-24
03:22
Thor Burner 2A Thor 197 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5C-F2 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1975-06-12
08:12
Delta 2910 Delta 111
Thor 595
VAFB SLC-2W Nimbus-6 Weather Satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1975-06-21
11:43
Delta 1910 Delta 112
Thor 586
CCAFS SLC-17B OSO-8 Solar observation satellite LEO Successful
1975-08-09
01:47
Delta 2913 Delta 113
Thor 602
VAFB SLC-2W COS-B High-energy astronomy research satellite HEO Successful
1975-09-09
05:30
N-I N-1 (F) Tanegashima SLC-N ETS-1 (Kiku-1) Technological demonstration satellite MEO Successful First Japanese licensed built Delta flight.
1975-08-27
01:42
Delta 2914 Delta 114
Thor 594
CCAFS SLC-17A Symphonie-2 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1975-09-19
Thor DSV-2J Thor 201 Johnston LE-2 Missile defense test tracking target Suborbital Successful
1975-10-06
09:01
Delta 2910 Delta 115
Thor 600
VAFB SLC-2W Explorer 54 (AE-D) Atmospheric research satellite MEO Successful
1975-10-16
22:40
Delta 2914 Delta 116
Thor 597
CCAFS SLC-17B GOES-1 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1975-11-06
Thor DSV-2J Thor 274 Johnston LE-2 Missile defense test tracking target Suborbital Successful Last sub-orbital Thor series flight
1975-11-20
02:06
Delta 2910 Delta 117
Thor 604
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 55 (AE-E) Atmospheric research satellite MEO Successful
1975-12-13
01:56
Delta 3914 Delta 118
Thor 607
CCAFS SLC-17A Satcom-1 Communication satellite GTO Successful First flight of the Delta 3000 series.

1976[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1976-01-17
23:28
Delta 2914 Delta 119
Thor 606
CCAFS SLC-17B CTS 1 Hermes Experimental communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-02-19
07:52
Thor Burner 2A Thor 182 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5C-F3 Military weather satellite planned: LEO / SSO Failure Thor stage not loaded with enough kerosene fuel due to incorrect LR79 main engine data sheet entry. Satellite re-entered after one orbit.
1976-02-19
22:32
Delta 2914 Delta 120
Thor 603
CCAFS SLC-17B Marisat-1 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-02-29
03:30
N-I N-2 (F) Tanegashima SLC-N ISS-1 (Ume-1) Ionospheric research satellite MEO Successful
1976-03-26
22:42
Delta 3914 Delta 121
Thor 610
CCAFS SLC-17A Satcom-2 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-04-22
20:46
Delta 2914 Delta 122
Thor 608
CCAFS SLC-17B NATO 3A Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-05-04
08:00
Delta 2913 Delta 123
Thor 609
VAFB SLC-2W LAGEOS-1 Geodesic research satellite MEO Successful
1976-06-10
00:09
Delta 2914 Delta 124
Thor 601
CCAFS SLC-17A Marisat-2 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-07-08
23:31
Delta 2914 Delta 125
Thor 611
CCAFS SLC-17A Palapa-A1 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1976-07-29
17:07
Delta 2310 Delta 126
Thor 605
VAFB SLC-2W NOAA-5 Weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1976-09-11
08:00
Thor DSV-2U Thor 172 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5D-F1 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1976-10-14
22:44
Delta 2914 Delta 127
Thor 614
CCAFS SLC-17A Marisat-3 Communication satellite GTO Successful

1977[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1977-01-28
00:49
Delta 2914 Delta 128
Thor 613
CCAFS SLC-17A NATO 3B Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1977-02-23
08:50
N-I N-3 (F) Tanegashima SLC-N ETS-2 (Kiku-2) Experimental communication satellite GTO Successful
1977-03-10
23:16
Delta 2914 Delta 129
Thor 612
CCAFS SLC-17A Palapa-A2 Communication satellite GTO Successful
1977-04-20
10:15
Delta 2914 Delta 130
Thor 617
CCAFS SLC-17B ESA-GEOS-1 Magnetosphere research satellite planned: GTO Partial Failure Premature separation of second and third stages led to failure of Stage 3 spin up.
1977-06-05
02:59
Thor DSV-2U Thor 183 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5D-F2 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1977-06-16
10:51
Delta 2914 Delta 131
Thor 616
CCAFS SLC-17B GOES-2 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1977-07-14
14:56
Delta 2914 Delta 132
Thor 618
CCAFS SLC-17B GMS-1 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1977-08-25
23:50
Delta 2313 Delta 133
Thor 615
CCAFS SLC-17B Sirio-1 Experimental communication satellite GTO Successful
1977-09-13
23:21
Delta 3914 Delta 134
Thor 619
CCAFS SLC-17A OTS-1 Experimental communication satellite planned: GTO Failure Launch vehicle exploded at T+52 seconds due to a rupture of the SRM #1 casing.
1977-10-22
13:53
Delta 2914 Delta 135
Thor 623
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 56 (ISEE-A / B) Magnetospheric research satellites HEO Successful
1977-11-23
01:35
Delta 2914 Delta 136
Thor 620
CCAFS SLC-17A Meteosat-1 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1977-12-15
00:47
Delta 2914 Delta 137
Thor 624
CCAFS SLC-17B CS-1 Experimental communication satellite GTO Successful

1978[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1978-01-26
17:36
Delta 2914 Delta 138
Thor 613
CCAFS SLC-17A Explorer 57 (International Ultraviolet Explorer) Astronomical observatory satellite HEO Successful Satellite operational until 1996.
1978-02-15
04:00
N-I N-4 (F) Tanegashima SLC-N ISS-2 (Ume-2) Ionospheric research satellite MEO Successful
1978-03-05
17:54
Delta 2910 Delta 139
Thor 621
VAFB SLC-2W Landsat 3 Earth Resource Technology Satellite 917 km LEO, near polar, Sun synchronous. Successful Satellite decommissioned on March 21, 1983.
1978-04-07
22:01
Delta 2914 Delta 140
Thor 626
CCAFS SLC-17B BSE-1[5] Direct-broadcast satellite GTO (167×35844 km, i=27°, 631 min) Successful First of Japanese BSE series, also known as "Yuri 1".
1978-05-01
03:05
Thor DSV-2U Thor 143 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5D-F3 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1978-05-11
22:59
Delta 3914 Delta 141
Thor 627
CCAFS SLC-17A OTS-2 Experimental communication satellite GTO Successful
1978-06-16
10:49
Delta 2914 Delta 142
Thor 625
CCAFS SLC-17B GOES-3 Weather satellite GTO Successful
1978-07-14
10:43
Delta 2914 Delta 143
Thor 631
CCAFS SLC-17A ESA-GEOS-2 Magnetosphere research satellite GTO Successful
1978-08-12
15:12
Delta 2914 Delta 144
Thor 633
CCAFS SLC-17B Explorer 59 (ISEE-3) Magnetospheric research satellite HEO to Sun-Earth L1 halo orbit
Eventually shifted to heliocentric
Successful First satellite to use Lagrangian point and halo orbit
Later re-classified as the International Cometary Explorer. Satellite still operational as of 2014.[6]
1978-10-24
08:14
Delta 2910 Delta 145
Thor 630
VAFB SLC-2W Nimbus-7 / CAMEO Weather Satellite / Ionosphere research LEO / SSO Successful
1978-11-19
00:46
Delta 2914 Delta 146
Thor 634
CCAFS SLC-17B NATO 3C Military communication satellite GTO Successful
1978-12-16
00:21
Delta 3914 Delta 147
Thor 632
CCAFS SLC-17A Anik-B1 Communication Satellite GTO Successful

1979[edit]

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket S/N Launch Site Payload Function Orbit Outcome Remarks
1979-01-30
21:42
Delta 2914 Delta 148
Thor 629
CCAFS SLC-17B SCATHA (P78-2) Military technological research satellite HEO Successful
1979-02-06
08:46
N-I N-5 (F) Tanegashima SLC-N ECS-A (Ayame 1) Experimental communication satellite planned: GTO Failure Recontact between satellite and upper stage.
1979-06-06
18:22
Thor DSV-2U Thor 264 VAFB SLC-10W DMSP-5D-F4 Military weather satellite LEO / SSO Successful
1979-08-10
00:20
Delta 2914 Delta 149
Thor 638
CCAFS SLC-17A Westar-3 Communication Satellite GTO Successful
1979-12-07
01:35
Delta 3914 Delta 150
Thor 622
CCAFS SLC-17A Satcom-3 Communication satellite GTO Successful

See also[edit]

Delta (rocket family)