Delta 5000

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Delta 5000 series
Launch of the Delta 5920 with COBE
Function Expendable launch system
Country of origin  United States
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Vandenberg SLC-2W
Total launches 1
Successes 1
Launch date 18 November 1989
Boosters - Castor 4A
No. boosters 9
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 478.3 kN
Specific impulse 266 sec
Burn time 56 seconds
Fuel Solid
First stage - Thor-ELT
Engines 1 RS-27
Thrust 1,054.2 kN
Specific impulse 302 sec
Burn time 265 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Second stage - Delta-K
Engines 1 AJ-10
Thrust 43.6 kN
Specific impulse 319 sec
Burn time 431 seconds
Fuel Dinitrogen tetroxide/Aerozine

The Delta 5000 series was an American expendable launch system which was used to conduct an orbital launch in 1989. It was a member of the Delta family of rockets. Although several variants were put forward, only the Delta 5920 was launched. The designation used a four digit numerical code to store information on the configuration of the rocket. It was built from a combination of spare parts left over from earlier Delta rockets, which were being retired, and parts from the Delta II 6000-series, which was just entering service.

The first stage was the RS-27 powered Extended Long Tank Thor, flown on several earlier Delta rockets. Nine Castor-4A solid rocket boosters were attached to increase thrust at lift-off, replacing the less powerful Castor-4 boosters used on the 3000 series. The Delta-K was used as a second stage. In the configuration that was launched, no third stage was flown.

The Delta 5000 was launched just once, from Space Launch Complex 2W at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Launch occurred at 14:34 on 18 November 1989. It was successful, and placed the Cosmic Background Explorer spacecraft into low Earth orbit.


  • Wade, Mark. "Delta". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-02-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Thor family". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-02-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>