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Missile initially developed by the U.S. Air Force as an intermediate-range ballistic missile. It became operational in 1958 and was later modified to serve as the first stage of launch vehicles for several spacecraft. The Thor missile force was withdrawn in 1963. For space launching, three small auxiliary motors were strapped to a Thor rocket, and this resulted in a thrust nearly twice as powerful as the original.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Thor rocket, visit Britannica.com.
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