Kennedy Space Center Site Index
Delta Gallery


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 our time.

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.

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.

Sign accompanying the Delta at Kennedy Space Center
Time picture taken Tue Jun 15 08:42:32 2004
Location picture taken Rocket Garden
Visitor Center
Kennedy Space Center, FL
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