SP-4012 NASA HISTORICAL DATA BOOK: VOLUME III
PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS 1969-1978
 
 

Table 1-33. Chronology of Thor-Delta Development and Operations.

 

Date

Event

.

June 26, 1970

NASA awarded McDonnell Douglas a contract to incorporate the new Delta inertial guidance system into the Thor-Delta vehicle.

Oct. 13, 1971

Details of the improved 2000 series Thor-Delta were discussed with representatives of potential user organizations.

March 11, 1972

The first Thor-Delta with a Universal Boat Tail was launched (TD-IA); the boat tail allowed the addition of up to nine strap-on solid rocket motors.

July 23, 1972

The launch of Landsat I marked the first use of nine strap-one and the new uprated second-stage engine (AJ 10-118F). This Thor-Delta model was designated the 904.

Sept. 22, 1972

With the launch of Explorer 47, the first 1000 series Thor-Delta was proven successful.

Nov. 15, 1974

For the first time, a Thor-Delta launched three satellites simultaneously (NOAA 4, Intesat, and Amsat Oscar 7).

May 7, 1975

The launch of Anik 3 marked the 100th successful Delta liftoff.

Spring 1976

NASA officials studied the possibility of using a Delta-class (TE 364) stage instead of the Air Force-sponsored Interim Upper Stage for use with Shuttle payloads.

May 1976

The U.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics Control Board, made up of NASA and Department of Defense personnel, approved the Delta 3914 model for government use.

Nov. 23, 1976

NASA Headquarters plans called for Delta to be phased out at the Kennedy Space Center during 1980 in anticipation of the Space Transportation System becoming operational.


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