Thor-Agena was a series of orbital
launch vehicles. The rockets used Thor first stages and Agena second stages. They are thus cousins of the more famous Thor-Deltas, which founded the Delta rocket family. The first attempted launch of a Thor-Agena was in January 1959. The first successful launch was on February 28, 1959, launching " Discoverer-1".
Among other uses, the clandestine Corona program used Thor-Agenas from June 1959 until January 1968 to launch
USmilitary reconnaissance satellites operated by the CIA. In 1962, for example, Thor-Agena launch vehicles were used in 24 launch attempts now known to have been part of satellite surveillance programs.
Alouette 1," Canada's first satellite, was launched on a Thor-Agena-B.
* 16 launches between
21 Jan 1959and 13 Sep 1960
Discoverer 14satellite used in the Corona spy satellite program was launched by a Thor-Agena-A. On 1960-08-19usable photographic film from the satellite was recovered by a C-119recovery aircraft. This was the first successful recovery of film from an orbiting satellite and the first mid-air recoveryof an object returning from Earth orbit.cite web |url=http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1960-010A |title=Discoverer 14 - NSSDC ID: 1960-010A |publisher=NASA]
* First successful launch:
Nov 12, 1960with "Discoverer 17"
* Last launch:
May 15, 1966with "Nimbus 2"
* First launch:
Jun 28, 1962
* Last launch:
Jan 17, 1968
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.