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The Thor missile program was initiated in December 1954, when USAF headquarters issued requirement for a tactical missile intended to travel a distance of between 1 150 and 2 300 miles. Thor was undertaken as a high-risk program having the goal of achieving flight within the shortest possible time. The Thor had its first complete launch pad test in January 1957 and a full-range flight test in September 1957.
Burner 2 was an upper stage developed by Boeing for the Air Force Space Systems Division. It was the first solid-fuel upper stage with full control and guidance capability developed for general space applications. Four Thor Burner 2 combinations were launched succesfully from Vandenberg AFB. The Burner 2 was also used as an upper stage by NASA for deep space probes.
The kit presents third launch (29.6.1967), which placed 2 unclassified satellites into Earth orbit - SECOR (small geodetic spacecraft used to precisely determine points on Earth; experiemtns with SECOR led to the GPS Navstar system) and Aurora. Satellites were placed in circular orbits 3 300 km above the Earth. As integration contractor for the Air Force Space Experiment Support Program Office, Boeing designed, built and tested the injection stage, which carried the 2 satellites on top of a standard Burner 2 stage and placed them into precise orbits. The satellites were mounted on opposite sides of the injection stage, which housed solid propellant rocket motor.
Construction kit of Atlas D - Project FIRE launch vehicle