SP-4401 - NASA SOUNDING ROCKETS, 1958-1968: A Historical Summary

 

VII

SOUNDING ROCKETS DURING THE HEYDAY OF SCIENTIFIC SATELLITES

 

[45] PREDILECTIONS FOR SATELLITES

During the five-year period 1960-1964, "getting an experiment on a satellite" was the thing to do in space science. 61 Space funds were concentrated on satellites and space probes until the $10-20 million in NASA's annual sounding rocket budget was less than 10 percent of that allocated to the Explorers, Orbiting Observatories, Mariners, Rangers, and other space vehicles. One sounding rocket proponent put it this way:

 

... the IGY also saw the beginning of satellite era, itself a product of the rocket's prior success, and the satellites sapped the strength which would otherwise have gone into rocket studies. 62

 

Even the name "sounding rocket" had an archaic ring to it.63 Thus the Goddard Sounding Rocket Branch entered the 1960-1964 period at a psychological disadvantage.

Despite the swing of many experimenters to satellites, many scientists felt more comfortable with sounding rockets and, as pointed out earlier, some atmospheric and ionospheric research just cannot be done with satellites. Further, NASA recommended that new instruments destined for satellite flight first prove themselves on sounding rockets wherever feasible. The demand for sounding rockets also rose because scientists newly attracted to space research found it much easier to get space on sounding rockets- the [46] satellites, with their limited space, being in effect preempted by the proven "big names" in space research. For these reasons NASA's sounding rocket program accelerated during the early 1960s despite the lack of glamour. Goddard managed 60 sounding rockets in 1960 and exceeded the 100 mark in 1964 and thereafter.

 

ORGANIZATION OF U.S. SOUNDING ROCKET ACTIVITIES

 

The Goddard Sounding Rocket Branch, beginning with roughly 50 transferees from NRL and other agencies, could not handle the greater workload alone. Rockets in the NASA "stable" had to be procured and fired at locations around the world; new rockets had to be developed and old ones improved; and there was continuous negotiation with the experimenters from sister agencies, the universities, and foreign countries. To meet the demand, Goddard approximately doubled the manpower of its Sounding Rocket Branch between 1959 and 1965. In addition, onsite contractors, such as Fairchild-Hiller, provided personnel who worked hand in hand with NASA employees. Of course, much of the vehicle engineering and all of the production were done by contractors all over the country. NASA's general philosophy was to keep roughly 20 percent of the scientific and engineering work in-house to maintain Goddard's competence in the area.64 Such competence is obviously essential in dealing with experimenters and contractors in a complex technical field.

Many other Government agencies conducted their own sounding rocket research programs, particularly the Navy (NRL) and the Air Force (AFCRL). The Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) employed meteorological rockets to help gather synoptic weather data. The Atomic Energy Commission, too, was interested in the upper atmosphere because of its responsibility for monitoring radioactivity and detecting nuclear explosions.

Generally these agencies procured their own sounding rockets and provided their own launch services for firings within the United States; from Fort Churchill, Canada; and from vessels in international waters. The Naval Research Laboratory was an exception where NASA provided some rockets, launch services, and funds to develop some of the experiments almost in the same way it does for an in-house or university experimenter. Experimenters in other agencies could and did approach NASA for rockets and funds. Occasionally the Air Force, which maintained a vigorous sounding rocket program at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, requested and received launch support services available only from NASA. NASA's Wallops [47] Island launch facility was used by the Air Force and other agencies. Of course, these were reciprocal relationships because NASA on occasion used the facilities of the Western Test Range (formerly the Pacific Missile Range) for sounding rocket launches. A perusal of the NASA launches in Appendix B bears this out. The Air Force has also been instrumental in developing rockets, such as the Black Brant series (Chapter VIII) that NASA ultimately adopted.

Who coordinates all of the rocket research taking place around the country? There is the natural desire not to duplicate research work. This is augmented by congressional pressure to define agency missions precisely and reduce overlap. The Rocket Research Panel, established as the Joint Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel, partially solved this interagency coordination problem. This panel was formed when NASA and DOD established the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board (AACB) on September 14, 1960. The Rocket Research Panel, however, ceased functioning in the early 1960s. The only remaining nationwide forum for sounding rocket research was the White Sands Scheduling Committee, which dealt only with Aerobee launches. NASA interfaces with other agencies in the sounding rocket area have thus become informal ones- with the following exception.

Whenever another agency wished to launch a sounding rocket from a foreign country, as was sometimes the case when eclipses occurred, or when a phenomenon was localized (viz, the auroras), NASA acted as their agent in all dealings with the country involved.65 Space research has been promoted as a nonmilitary enterprise by the United States ever since NASA was created; indeed, the desire to keep the space program nonmilitary was one of the main reasons why NASA was formed as a separate agency instead of placing space research under the Air Force.66 The civilian mien of NASA sounding rocket work has usually made it relatively easy for NASA to secure launching privileges in foreign countries where a military agency might be unwelcome.

The procedure an experimenter follows for obtaining space on a sounding rocket was similar- up to a point- whether he was a U.S. citizen or foreign national:

 

1. The experimenter submitted a proposal for his experiment to the Physics and Astronomy Programs Directorate at NASA Headquarters. The proposal may have been a response to a general [48] solicitation of the scientific community or just "a good idea" on the part of the experimenter.

2. Technical evaluation was carried out by the pertinent science program branch chief at NASA Headquarters to determine the scientific value of the experiment, etc., as discussed in Chapter VI.

3. The Goddard Sounding Rocket Branch determined its ability to provide the requested support.

4. A go-ahead was given and Headquarters provided the funds for the experimenter and the Sounding Rocket Branch.

 

NASA'S INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

 

A similar procedure was followed if a foreign country was involved. In addition, a draft of a Memorandum of Understanding67 was prepared by NASA Headquarters (Office of International Affairs), which stipulated what each side would provide. Typically the foreign country supplied the launch crew and launch services, the site, transportation, and the experiment. NASA, in turn, supplied the rocket, knowhow, some instrumentation, launch services, the support equipment, and sometimes part of the experiment. In the beginning of the space program, some countries just wanted to "do something in space" without sufficient background and preparation. Education and the development of research competence, therefore, have been two of Goddard's main functions in the sounding rocket program.

Once the Memorandum of Understanding 68 was signed by both countries, each country appointed a Project Manager, who worked together directly. Work then began, often with a simple payload. As the country's scientific competence increased, more complex experiments were undertaken.

During the period 1960-1964, NASA negotiated Memoranda of Understanding and initiated 13 cooperative programs with the following foreign countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway/Denmark, Pakistan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The international flights that resulted are summarized in Table 3.69

 

 

[49] TABLE 3. Cooperative International Programs, 1960-1964

Country

Location

Date(s)

Details

.

Argentina

Chamical

Dec. 1964

National University of Tucuman flew ionosphere experiments on 2 NASA Nike-Cajuns.

Australia

Woomera

Sept. 1961 - Nov. 1961

Goddard flew ultraviolet astronomy experiments on 4 Skylarks.

Wallops I.

Apr. 1963 - May 1963

Australia launched 2 Aerobee 150As in radio noise experiments.

Canada

Fort Churchill

Continuous

79 NASA launches during period.

Wallops I.

June 1962 - Dec. 1962

Canada launched 6 Black Brant Ills from Wallops in vehicle tests, while Fort Churchill was inoperative due to fire.

France

Wallops I.

Oct. 1963

France launched 2 Aerobee 150s with ionosphere payloads.

Hammaguir, Algeria

Apr. 1964

NASA and France jointly studied ionosphere using French Dragon and Centaur rockets.

Germany

White Sands

Nov. 1964

Germany participated in launch of an Aerobee 150 with experiment designed to collect extraterrestrial dust (part of the Luster program).

India

Thumba

Jan. 1964

University of New Hampshire flew 4 Nike-Apaches to investigate equatorial electrojet. (Thumba is on the geomagnetic equator.)

Thumba

Nov. 1963 - Nov. 1964

India's Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad used 7 Nike-Apaches in sodium-vapor experiments.

Italy

Sardinia

Jan. 1961 - Dec. 1962

Italian Space Commission launched 8 Nike-Cajuns and Nike-Asps with sodium-vapor experiments.

Sardinia

May 1963

3 Nike-Apaches fired by NASA with sodium-vapor experiments aboard.

Japan

Wallops I.

Apr. 1962 - Oct. 1964

Japanese Radio Research Laboratories and Goddard cooperated in ionospheric studies; 3 Nike-Cajuns, 2 Aerobee 150s, and I Javelin launched by Japan.

 

[50] TABLE 3. Cooperative International Programs, 1960-1964- Concluded

Country

Location

Date(s)

Details

.

New Zealand

Birdling's Flat, N.Z.

May 1963-Dec. 1964

University of Canterbury carried out experiments in upper atmosphere and ionosphere with 3 Arcas rockets

Norway/Denmark

Wallops I.

Dec. 1961 -Apr. 1963

Norway participated with Goddard in launching 3 Nike-Cajuns and 1 Nike-Apache in ionosphere studies.

Andoya, Norway

Aug. 1962-Mar. 1964

Goddard participated with Norway in a series of 3 Nike-Cajun and 4 Nike-Apache launches with varied instrumentation.

Pakistan

Sonmiani Beach

June 1962-Dec. 1964

Cooperative sodium-vapor experiments using 3 NikeCajuns and 4 Nike-Apaches.

Swedena

Jokkmokk

Aug. 1961

Sweden used an Arcas to measure winds in vicinity of noctilucent clouds.

Kronogard

Aug. 1962-Aug. 1964

Series of noctilucent clouds studied using 8 NikeCajuns and 8 Nike-Apaches.

White Sands

Oct. 1963-Dec. 1963

Sweden fired 3 boosted Arcas rockets with ionospheric payloads.

Wallops l.

Mar. 1964

Sodium/lithium vapor experiments with a boosted Arcas.

United Kingdom

Wallops I.

July 1964-Nov. 1964

Cooperative British-American experiments in ionospheric physics and radio propagation with 2 Nike-Apaches.

White Sands

Nov. 1964

Collection of extraterrestrial dust particles with an Aerobee 150 (part of Project Luster).

a C. B. Tackett, Sweden Operations-1962, NASA TM-X-55174 (1965).

 

 

[51] Aside from Canada, which has worked hand in hand with the United States ever since the IGY in the construction, maintenance, and use of the Fort Churchill launch site, Italy was the first country to request and receive sounding rocket support from the United States. Between January 1961 and December 1962, eight Nike-Cajun and Nike-Asps were fired from Sardinia; scientists measured upper atmosphere winds by photographing sodium vapor released from the rockets. In this case, NASA worked directly with the Italian Space Commission.

Most of the countries listed were scientifically and industrially advanced. Some, such as Canada and Australia, had their own rocket programs long before NASA was created. In these cases, the cooperative programs have been primarily concerned with NASA acquiring access to desired launch sites outside the United States or with the foreign countries wanting to employ U.S. sites. With less advanced countries such as Pakistan, NASA's role in helping to develop local technological capabilities has been more significant. For example, NASA began working with the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Committee in 1962, when Nike-Cajuns were used to launch sodium-vapor payloads from Sonmiani Beach, Pakistan. More sophisticated payloads followed.

NASA's international sounding rocket programs, like its cooperative satellite programs, have been highly successful as agents of good will and stimuli to space science around the world.

 

SOUNDING ROCKET STATISTICS

 

From the scant 16 sounding rockets fired during 1959, the number launched by Goddard's Sounding Rocket Branch steadily increased to 152 in 1964. Appendix C indicates that the most popular of these rockets in the early years was the Nike-Cajun, a rocket which had been improved only in minor ways since its introduction in 1956. The chief additions to the "stable" were the Aerobee 150A and 300A, the Astrobee 1500, the British Skylark, and the Javelin.

The Aerobee 150A is essentially an Aerobee 150 with four tail fins rather than three. Likewise, the Aerobee 300A is an Aerobee 300 which uses a 150A second stage rather than the older three-fin 150. All rockets in the NASA "stable" show such evolutionary improvements, most of which never get recognized by a change in rocket designation.

The British Skylark sounding rocket was first employed by NASA in 1961 when four were fired from Woomera, Australia, in a program of southern hemisphere stellar photography. No Skylarks have been used by NASA since. The Skylark (originally named the Gassiot High Altitude.....

 


[
52]

The Astrobee 1500, one of NASA's larger sounding rockers.

The Astrobee 1500, one of NASA's larger sounding rockers.

 

....Vehicle) was produced by the Royal Aircraft Establishment and was introduced during the IGY.

The Astrobee 1500 was first used by NASA in 1962. It was intended to be a replacement for the large Argo D-8 Journeyman rocket, which NASA used for big payloads and high altitudes. A replacement was necessary because the Journeyman first stage, the Sergeant motor, was becoming increasingly hard to get. Built by Aerojet, the Astrobee 1500 consisted of an Aerojet 100 (Aerojet Junior) first stage augmented by two Thiokol Recruits, plus an Alcor second stage. Like the Journeyman, the Astrobee 1500 has been used only sparingly in NASA's programs, it being unnecessarily big and expensive for most purposes.

 

THE NIKE-APACHE AND AEROBEE 350

 

The most popular sounding rocket introduced during the 1960-1964 period was the two-stage, solid-propellant Nike-Apache, which was similar to the Nike-Cajun in most respects. The primary difference was the propellant...

 


[
53]

Nike-Apaches ready for launch from Fort Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.

Nike-Apaches ready for launch from Fort Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.


A Nike-Apache on the so-called <<universal >> launcher at Wallops Station.

A Nike-Apache on the so-called "universal " launcher at Wallops Station.

 

[54] .....and the phenolic lining of the Apache steel nozzle. The Cajun did not have this lining, and the direct exposure of its steel can to high exhaust temperatures was considered undesirable. The Marquardt Asp70 was tried as a replacement for the Cajun but did not prove satisfactory. NASA eventually adopted the Apache, which had already been developed by Thiokol in Elkton, Md. The Nike-Apache has been fired in large numbers since 1962.

 


An Aerobee tower launch at Wallops Island.

An Aerobee tower launch at Wallops Island.

 

[55] Late in 1961 Aerojet submitted a proposal to NASA for the development of a new member of the liquid-fueled Aerobee series, the Aerobee 350. Goddard let the development contract to Aerojet in 1962 and assigned John H. Lane as Project Manager at Goddard. The 350 was a large Aerobee, consisting of a Nike booster plus a cluster of four Aerobee 150 engines with another 150 as the upper stage. It could launch 227 kg (500 lb) to about 340 km (210 mi) and was designed specifically to give instruments a "soft ride " The Aerobee 350 also incorporated a sophisticated attitude-control system that could select several astronomical targets during flight.71 The first test of the first "all-Goddard" rocket took place on December 11, 1964, at Wallops Island, when the booster stage was tested successfully with a dummy second stage. The purpose of the test was to check compatibility between the new rocket and the Aerobee launch tower at Wallops. The first complete system test of the Aerobee 350 was successful at Wallops Island on June 18, 1965.

 

SUBSYSTEMS AND GROUND SUPPORT

 

When experimenters first began using the captured V-2s in 1946, they discovered to their consternation that a V-2 usually rolled and tumbled so much after its engines ceased operating that instrument pointing was impossible. As specialized research rockets, such as the Aerobees, were introduced, instrument-pointing equipment was developed to aid the scientists. A typical development of the 1950s was the Sunfollower, designed by the University of Colorado. When NASA commenced sounding rocket operations in 1959, it had no choice but to make the experimenters themselves responsible for pointing their experiments. This meant that the experimenters had to go to the University of Colorado or Ball Brothers Corp., a manufacturer in Boulder, for their equipment. In 1962 NASA began its own development of rocket attitude-control devices. Some stellar pointing control work, involving high-precision pointing, was done at Goddard and Space-General, a new subsidiary of Aerojet. Much of the NASA work on solar pointing was carried out at Ames Research Center during the 1965-1968 period. Ames developed a solar pointing system that employed gas jets and a magnetic system for rocket stabilization, the Solar Pointing Aerobee Rocket Control System (SPARCS). This equipment was used for sunspot and solar limb studies.

[56] One of the drawbacks of the Aerobee series of sounding rockets has been their requirement for a special launch tower and other ground facilities. Such equipment was permanently installed at Fort Churchill, Wallops Island, and White Sands. But there were research programs where Aerobee launches from other locations were desirable. To increase the versatility of the Aerobees, Goddard engineers modified a launch tower that was originally used in 1949 for Aerobee launches from the U.S.S. Norton Sound. Before NASA acquired this structure it had been modified and used by the Naval Ordnance Test Station (China Lake) for six Aerobee launches from the Bahamas in 1963 and 1964. Goddard modifications to the tower involved shortening the tower and making the entire assembly and associated ground support equipment fully mobile. The result was called the mobile Aerobee launch facility (MALF). MALF was first employed by NASA outside the United States when Aerobee 150s were fired from Natal, Brazil, in 1966 and 1967.72

 


The mobile launch facility used for Aerobee launches. Shown in Brazil, 1966-1967.

The mobile launch facility used for Aerobee launches. Shown in Brazil, 1966-1967.

 

An extremely important facet of sounding rocket performance has been reliability. During the early Aerobee work, for example, failure rates were occasionally as high as 20 percent, whereas NASA experienced an overall Aerobee failure rate of only about 10 percent from 1959 through 1964.

[57] After 1964, the failure rate dropped even lower. The reason for such high performance cannot be assigned to any one specific improvement of many made during the Aerobee's 20-year history. Rather, the increase in Aerobee performance has been the consequence of many cumulative small improvements.73 Indeed, there have been no really new inventions in sounding rocket technology. The entire technology history is one of slowly improving the state of the art.

 

RESEARCH TRENDS

 

The sounding rocket compendium, Appendix B, lists each NASA rocket flight. Obviously there are too many to discuss individually, but some general statements can be made regarding the Goddard program during the five-year period 1960-1964. Table 4 is conclusive in showing that sounding rockets find their greatest application in atmospheric and ionospheric physics. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that few biological experiments were flown during the five years covered in this chapter.74

When one examines the 1960-1964 record according to the agency conducting the experiment, Goddard scientists have accounted for almost half of the launches (Table 5). As we shall see in the next chapter, however, university and international flights have become more important with the maturation of the program.

 

TABLE 4. Types of Sounding Rocket Experiments, 1960-1964.

Discipline

Flights

.

Aeronomy

147

Biology

2

Energetic particles

35

Fields

15

Astronomy

29

Ionospheric physics

81

Meteorology

77

Radio astronomy

2

Solar physics

14

Special projects

21

Test and support

30

.

Total

453

TABLE 5. Agencies Conducting Experiments, 1960-1964

Agency

Flights

.

Goddard

219

Other NASA centers

26

Universities

73

Department of Defense

14

Other Government agencies

7

Industry

75

International

39

.

Total

453

 

[58] Of the 453 sounding rockets launched during the 1960-1964 period, 265, or 59 percent, began their flights from Wallops Island, making wallops the undisputed center for sounding rocket research. In the late 1940s and during the 1950s, White Sands was the site of most sounding rocket launches; however, during the period covered by this chapter, only 37 NASA rockets (about 8 percent) were fired there. Of course, the Air Force and other Government agencies with their own rocket programs still use White Sands extensively. During 1960-1964, Goddard fired 79 rockets from Fort Churchill (not counted as international flights); 4 from the Pacific Missile Range; 5 from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; and 8 from Ascension Island, which is in the South Atlantic near the end of the Eastern Test Range. In addition to these terra firma launches, six Nike Apaches were launched from the U.S.N.S. Croatan in late 1964. The launches occurred in the Atlantic off Wallops Island and in some cases were synchronized with similar launches from shore.

It is difficult to single out any one flight or series of flights for special mention.75 Several flights involved the feature of payload recovery. The nuclear emulsion recovery vehicle (NERV) and biological satellite (BIOS) flights fall into this interesting class. The first NERV was launched from Point Arguello, part of the Pacific Missile Range, on September 19, 1960, to measure the characteristics of the inner Van Allen belt and determine the effect of the radiation upon mold spores. The flight was completely successful with the capsule being recovered some three hours later nearly 1930 km (1200 mi) away. The two BIOS capsules were also launched from Point Arguello by Journeyman rockets. Launched in November 1961, the BIOS capsules contained nuclear emulsions, biological specimens, and in addition, equipment to collect interplanetary matter.76 Unfortunately, the BIOS capsules were not recovered. Also of special interest was the series of six Nike-Apache flights attempted from Fort Churchill during the solar eclipse of July 20, 1963. Launched within a three-hour period, the rockets were intended to measure the eclipse's effect on the ionosphere. The first two rockets failed, but the remaining four were successful.

The international phase of the NASA sounding rocket program gathered considerable momentum during the 1960-1964 period, with Goddard launching a total of 48 rockets involving seven countries. (See Table 3.)

[59] Although the title of this chapter infers that sounding rockets might have been left behind in the dust as space scientists flocked to the new scientific satellites, the rate of sounding rocket launches increased steadily during the 1960-1964 period. Satellites got most of the scientific "firsts" during these five years; but sounding rocket research expanded many times in the disciplines of atmospheric and ionospheric physics, the areas where satellites are of limited usefulness. Sounding rockets were also training aids for experimenters and their equipment. As the middle of the decade approached, more and more scientists began to appreciate the positive advantages of sounding rocket research over satellite research: lack of formality, short lead times, low costs, and more design freedom. The Model T stigma began to disappear from sounding rocket research.

The remainder of this chapter summarizes rocket research results 1960-1964, in various disciplines.77

Meteorology. Some 3500 small rockets (Areas and Lokis) and a few dozen larger rockets fired from a wide geographical area helped refine our knowledge of winds, temperatures, and other weather-pertinent features of the upper atmosphere. The small rockets were launched by various agencies as part of the cooperative Meteorological Rocket Network. It was learned, for example, that there were consistent exceptions to the supposed steady decline of temperature with altitude in the mesosphere and that circulation systems of the lower mesosphere changed their behaviors abruptly at higher altitudes.

Atmospheric physics. The temperature of the mesopause was variable generally having its maximum value at high latitudes in the summer with the minimum in the winter. Noctilucent clouds were often associated with the low temperatures in the summer. Strong shear zones were found between 70 and 120 km (44 and 75 mi), apparently arising from internal "gravity waves." The bright auroras were excited by energetic electrons, while the more diffuse and extensive auroras were proton excited. Apparently the Van Allen belts were not the source of the aurora-exciting particles.

Ionospheric physics. The solar spectral regions responsible for ionization were determined throughout the ionosphere. The F-region electrons were produced by a wide range of wavelengths. At the magnetic equator, the sporadic E layer arose from an acoustic wave generated by a two-stream instability associated with the electrojet. A great deal of data on electron [60] temperatures, densities, ionosphere fine structure and irregularities was collected.

Fields and particles. Although the Van Allen belts were discovered by satellites, sounding rockets helped identify the particles and their energies in the inner and outer belts with emulsions and particle spectrometers.

Solar physics. From the beginning, satellites have taken much of the research burden from sounding rockets; viz, the OSOs, the NRL Solrad series, etc. Consequently, sounding rockets have been relegated to testing out instruments destined for future satellites, such as spectrographs and coronagraphs.

Astronomy. In the absence of satellites specifically devoted to astronomy, sounding rockets made the major discovery of discrete X-ray sources outside the solar system. Ten such sources had been found by the end of 1964.

 


61. Personal interview with Eleanor C. Pressly, Nov. 27, 1968.

62. Colin 0. Hines, "Sounding Rocket Resurgence," Astronautics and Aeronautics, IV (Jan. 1966), p.8.

63. Jon Busse, at Goddard Space Flight Center, has suggested that the name "near-space probe" or "research rocket" might be more appropriate.

64. Medrow interview, Dec. 11,1968.

65. Personal interview with William R. Witt on Dec. 11, 1968. In the case of DOD, this policy was spelled out in the so-called York Memorandum.

66. The U.S. Air Force did, of course, carry out scientific experiments from many of its own spacecraft.

67. See Appendix D for a typical Memorandum of Understanding. Actually, it was an agreement between NASA and a designated civilian agency in the other country.

68. When NASA initiated a foreign program, as it sometimes did to obtain geographically propitious sites for eclipse observations or a spot on the magnetic equator, it negotiated a Letter of Agreement with the country involved rather than a Memorandum of Understanding.

69. The bulk of the information in this table was extracted from the booklet "International Programs," prepared by the NASA Headquarters Office of International Affairs.

70. The Asp was originally developed by the Cooper Development Corp., which was subsequently bought out by Marquardt Corp.

71. C. B. Tackett, "Aerobee 350 Rocket Instrumentation," NASA TM-X-63156 (1968); also J. H. Lane and C. P. Chalfant, "Development of the Aerobee 350 Sounding Rocket," AIAA Sounding Rocket Vehicle Technology Specialist Conference (New York, 1967), p. 43.

72. Jon R. Busse, ``Mobile Aerobee Launch Facility,,, AIAA Sounding Rocket Vehicle Technology Specialist Conference (New York, 1967), p. 507.

73. Pressly interview, Nov. 27,1968.

74. This observation holds for scientific satellites, too. NASA has been criticized on occasion for not pursuing more space biological research.

75. For the description of a specific typical flight, see W. P. Fortney, Instrumentation and Flight Report for Aerobee 150 Flights 4.122 CG and 4.123 CG, NASA TM-X-55493 (1965).

76. A number of sounding rocket flights during the 1950s carried so-called "Venus Flytrap Experiments," which were designed to collect micrometeoroid samples at high altitudes. The Project Luster flights in the late 1960s had the same purpose and were more ambitious.

77. Extensive details may be found in a series of NASA special publications covering the significant achievements in space from 1958 through 1964: Space Astronomy, NASA SP-91 ;Ionospheres and Radio Physics, NASA SP-95; Satellite Meteorology, NASA SP-96; Particles and Fields, NASA SP-97; Planetary Atmospheres, NASA SP-98; and Solar Physics, NASA SP-100. All were published in 1966. These reports form the basis for the summary.


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