The Thor-Able was an American expendable launch system and sounding rocket used for a series of re-entry vehicle tests and satellite launches between 1958 and 1960.

Quick Facts About the Thor-Able rocket:

- Type : Sounding rocket/ Expendable launch system.

- Origin : United States.

- In service : 24 April 1958 – 1 April 1960.

- Mass : 51 608 kg.

- Length : 26.9 m (94.3 ft).

- Diameter : 2.44 m (34 ft).

- Propellant : First stage: RP-1/LOX, Second stage: HNO3/UDMH, Third stage(optional): Solid

- Engines: First stage: 1 LR79-7 with thrust of 758.71 kilonewtons (170,560 lbf), Second stage: 1 AJ-10 with thrust of 34.69 kilonewtons (7,800 lbf), Third stage(optional): 1 X-248 with thrust of 12.45 kilonewtons (2,800 lbf)

The thor able was a two-stage rocket, consisting of a Thor IRBM as a first stage and a Vanguard-derived Able second stage. On some flights, an Altair solid rocket motor was added as a third stage. It was a member of the Thor family of rockets.

Sixteen Thor-Able were launched, nine on sub-orbital re-entry vehicle test flights and seven on orbital satellite launch attempts. Six launches resulted in failures, in which three of those failures were the result of an Altair upper stage added to the rocket to allow it to launch the spacecraft onto a trans-lunar trajectory. All sixteen launches occurred from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 17A.

Credit/References and for further info please see:

Thor-Able image Photo Credit : U.S. Air Force , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons