The sign accompanying the Delta. It reads
The Sun Rides a Workhorse
The Delta was the
fourth configuration of the Thor-Able launch vehicle.
Not part of the manned space program, this rocket never achieved the fame of
the Redstone, Atlas, or Saturn. Yet, in
all its 34 versions, the Delta has been the workhorse of America's
exploration of the world beyond our own. Its exceptional reliability made it
the launch vehicle of choice for many of the most significant breakthroughs of
When it launched the Deep Space Probe, Pioneer
5, on March 11, 1960, the beach ball-sized spacecraft was equipped
with four paddle-like solar cells that recharged the on-board batteries that
provided electrical power. Invented in 1941 by American Russel Ohl, improved
solar cells have become a reliable source of electrical power for satellites
and the International Space Station.
ROCKET DATA: Delta
Height: 27 meters (89.3 feet)
Diameter: 2.24 meters (88.9 inches)
First stage propellants: Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and kerosene
Second and Third stage propellants: Solid
Lift-off thrust: 152,000 pounds
Although the sign says that the second stage used solid propellants, it was
actually a liquid stage using nitric acid and UDMH.