Encyclopedia Astronautica
Retired


Category of launch vehicles.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Paris Gun German gun-launched missile. The Paris Gun of World War I could hurl a 120 kg shell with 7 kg of explosive to a range of 131 km and an altitude of 40 km. More...
  • Goddard Robert H. Goddard was the father of American rocketry. In a series of rockets flown between World War I and World War II, he solved all of the fundamental problems of guided liquid propellant rockets. More...
  • HW-1 Johannes Winkler was a founding member and president of the VfR. On 14 March 1931, his HW-1 lifted off from a field outside of Dessau, Germany, becoming the first liquid fuel rocket in Europe to be successfully launched. More...
  • Tiling Wing-recovered compressed powder rockets that set altitude records in Germany before being surpassed by liquid propellant designs. More...
  • Mirak Mirak - a 'Minimum Rocket' - was conceived by Rudolf Nebel to demonstrate the practicality of the liquid rocket, using the thrust chamber developed for the abandoned Oberth rocket. Mirak was realised not by Nebel, but talented engineer Riedel. It flew over 100 times in 1931-1932 and convinced the German Army of the practicality of the rocket as a weapon of war. More...
  • V-1 First significant cruise missile. German engineer, Paul Schmidt, working from design of Lorin tube, developed and patented a ramjet engine later modified and used in the V-1 Flying Bomb. More...
  • HW-2 German sounding rocket. Johannes Winkler followed up his experimental HW-1 by the much larger and ambitious HW-2, which had an aerodynamic teardrop-shaped outer shell and a very respectful fuel mass fraction of 72% using an aluminium-magnesium structure. More...
  • Zucker Rocket The Zucker Rocket was not an operational rocket at all, but a series of flashy-looking hulls powered by powder rockets like those used in fireworks. Zucker travelled through Germany in 1931-1933, displaying his rocket, selling tickets to launches, and then selling fraudulent postal covers carried aboard the 'flights'. The highest recorded altitude achieved in Germany was 15 m. More...
  • Magdeburg Rudolf Nebel's subscale prototype for a man-carrying rocket was flown eight times in 1933. Further tests were prohibited by the Nazi government. This would be the largest German rocket launched until the A3 in 1937. More...
  • A2 German test vehicle. First flight test rocket in the series that led to the V-2. Two were built, dubbed Max and Moritz. Both were successfully flown. More...
  • Truax American test vehicle. The US Navy's R. C. Truax, at Annapolis, Md., developed a number of pioneering early rockets. More...
  • A3 German test vehicle. The A3 was the first large rocket attempted by Wernher von Braun's rocket team. It was equipped with an ambitious guidance package consisting of three gyroscopes and two integrating accelerometers. The rocket was intended as a subscale prototype for the propulsion and control system technology planned for the much larger A4. All of the launches were failures, and a total redesign, the A5, was developed. More...
  • A5 German test vehicle. Subscale test model of A4 (V-2). Replaced the A3 in this role after its unsuccessful test series. The A5 used the same powerplant as the A3, but had the aerodynamic form of the A4 and a new control system. 25 all-up versions were flown, some several times. More...
  • V-2 The V-2 ballistic missile (known to its designers as the A4) was the world's first operational liquid fuel rocket. It represented an enormous quantum leap in technology, financed by Nazi Germany in a huge development program that cost at least $ 2 billion in 1944 dollars. 6,084 V-2 missiles were built, 95% of them by 20,000 slave labourer in the last seven months of World War II at a unit price of $ 17,877. As many as 3,225 were launched in combat, primarily against Antwerp and London, and a further 1,000 to 1,750 were fired in tests and training. Despite the scale of this effort, the inaccurate missile did not change the course of the war and proved to be an enormous waste of resources. The British, Americans, and Russians launched a further 86 captured German V-2's in 1945-1952. Personnel and technology from the V-2 program formed the starting point for post-war rocketry development in America, Russia, and France. More...
  • Wasserfall Seminal German surface-to-air missile, tested during World War II, but never operational. The V-2-configuration rocket was copied in the USA as the Hermes and in the USSR as the R-101. In Russia it also became the starting point for the R-11/R-17 Scud surface-to-surface missile. More...
  • Private American test vehicle. At request of Army Ordnance, Cal Tech's rocket laboratory developed the first US long-range missiles. Project ORDCIT resulted in development of the Private A and Corporal missiles. At Camp Irwin, Calif., 24 Private A rockets were launched by JPL, only 11 months after the start of Project ORDCIT. This rocket technology that led to later operational Corporal and Sergeant missiles. More...
  • A4b German intermediate range boost-glide missile. Winged boost-glide version of the V-2 missile. The A4b designation was used to disguise work on the prohibited A9 program. More...
  • Loon American short range cruise missile, a copy of the German V-1 (Fieseler Fi 103). More...
  • EA 1941 First French liquid fuel rocket. Developed in the 1931-1942, tested in 1945. More...
  • Wac Development of the JPL-Ordnance WAC began in 1944. In 1946 it became the first American rocket to exceed 80 km altitude (above the earth's atmosphere as defined by publicity of the time). It was capable of taking 11 kg to 30 km altitude and was powered by a liquid propellant engine originally developed for JATO applications. More...
  • HVAR American air-to-air rocket. High-Velocity Air Rocket. An unguided fighter weapon, it was later adapted for use by NACA in the early 1950's to boost subscale aerodynamic models to supersonic speed. More...
  • Baranov SAM Russian surface-to-air missile. First Soviet anti-aircraft barrage rocket, fired in limited numbers during siege of Leningrad, and downing two German aircraft. More...
  • RNII Sounding Rocket Russian sounding rocket. P I Ivanov at RNII (Reaction Scientific Research Institute) developed a four-stage solid rocket capable of reaching 40 km altitude in 1944-1946. Two launches were made, but the project was considered generally unsuccessful and not followed up. More...
  • FFAR American air-to-air rocket. Folding-Fin Air Rocket, boosted by 1 x Mk7. Unguided fighter weapon, later used as sounding rocket. More...
  • Nike American sounding rocket. Single stage vehicles consisting first of just the Nike booster were initially fired in the course of development of the Nike-Ajax surface-to-air missile. Later it was used occasionally as a sounding rocket, but much more often as the boost stage of a multi-stage sounding rocket. More...
  • Deacon American test vehicle. The Deacon was an advanced solid rocket motor design cancelled at the end of World War II. In 1947 NACA began using reworked surplus motors to boost instrumented subscale aircraft models to speeds of up to Mach 4. They became a workhorse for the Agency's aerodynamic research, resulting in new production. Thousands were flown, until, by the end of the 1950's, supersonic wind tunnels took over the job. Data shown is for single-stage version. More...
  • Corporal American short range liquid-propellant ballistic missile. The first American operational guided missile, deployed 1954-1964. Replaced by the Sergeant solid-propellant missile. More...
  • Hermes American tactical ballistic missile. Hermes was a major US Army project to implement German rocket technology after World War II. Development started in 1944 with award to General Electric as the prime contractor. The program was cancelled in 1954 after $ 96.4 million had been spent. Most of this was for nought since the Air Force received the long-range missile assignment in the end.

    The designs ran the gamut from short range solid propellant rockets through Mach 3 ramjets to intercontinental boost-glide vehicles. General Electric was also responsible for firing captured German V-2 rockets, training Army personnel in their use, and the Bumper project which created a two-stage vehicle using a V-2 and a WAC-Corporal. See individual entries for the Hermes A-1, Hermes A-3, Hermes B-1, and Hermes C. More...

  • Aerobee American sounding rocket. In late 1945 James Van Allen was assigned by John Hopkins University to survey sounding rocket requirements for upper atmosphere research. The V-2 was found to be too heavy and complex. In 1946 Van Allen decided that what was needed was a small rocket, derived from the Aerojet Wac Corporal and the Bumblebee missile developed under a US Navy program. This combination of an Aerojet booster and a Bumblebee second stage was dubbed the Aerobee. Aerobees were launched for 53 m tall launch towers to provide the necessary stability until enough speed had been gained for the fins to be effective in controlling the rocket. Launch towers were built at White Sands, Fort Churchill, Wallops Island, and aboard the research ship USN Norton Sound. The Aerobee could take 68 kg to 130 km altitude. More...
  • Navaho The Navaho intercontinental cruise missile project was begun just after World War II, at a time when the US Army Air Force considered ballistic missiles to be technically impractical. The Navaho required a large liquid propellant rocket engine to get its Mach 3 ramjet up to ignition speed. This engine, derived with German assistance from that of the V-2, provided the basis for the rockets that would later take Americans into space.

    It turned out that mastering the guidance and materials technology needed for a Mach 3 cruise air vehicle was actually more difficult than for a Mach 22 ballistic missile. In the end, the Redstone, Thor, Jupiter, and Atlas rockets were flying before their equivalent-range Navaho counterparts. However the Navaho program provided the engine technology that allowed the US to develop these ballistic missiles rapidly and catch up with the Russians. Navaho also developed chem-milling fuel tank fabrication techniques, inertial and stellar navigation, and a host of other technologies used in later space vehicles. It put North American Aviation, and its Rocketdyne Division, in a leading position that allowed them to capture the prime contracts for the X-15, Apollo, and Space Shuttle projects, thereby dominating American manned spaceflight for the next seventy years. More...

  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • R-1 Russian short range ballistic missile. Stalin did not decide to proceed with Soviet production of this copy of the German V-2 until 1948. Despite the threatening supervision of the program by Stalin's secret police chief, Beria, and the assistance of German rocket engineers, it took eight years for the German technology to be absorbed and the missile to be put into service. It was almost immediately superseded by later designs, but the effort laid the groundwork for the Soviet rocket industry. Surplus R-1's were converted to use as a sounding rockets for military and scientific research missions. More...
  • Matador American intermediate range cruise missile. Glenn L. Martin Co. surface-to-surface cruise missile (Matador / Project MX-771). More...
  • RM-10 American test vehicle. Two-stage test vehicle to make heat transfer studies at high speed in free flight, launched from NACA's Pilotless Aircraft Reserach Station at Wallops Island, Va. Vehicle was developed by PARD of Langley Laboratory. More...
  • Viking American sounding rocket. The Viking sounding rocket, originally code-named Neptune, was conceived in 1945 by the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as having the same altitude capability as the V-2 but only one third the mass. Martin was given the contract to develop the rocket, and Reaction Motors the engine. The advanced design featured a gimbaled pump-fed engine, a fuel tank integral with the fuselage. All rockets would be static-tested and certified before launch. The first launch was on 3 May 1949. Viking was abandoned in 1954 as too expensive, but Martin's experience on the design led to the first stage of the Vanguard orbital launch vehicle and the Titan ICBM. More...
  • R-2 Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The Soviet R-2 ballistic missile was developed in 1947-1953, nearly in parallel with the R-1 from which it derived. It incorporated many detailed improvements, had double the range of the R-1 and V-2, and was equipped with a deadly radiological warhead. The ethyl alcohol used in the V-2 and R-1 was replaced by methyl alcohol in the R-2, eliminating the problem of the launch troops drinking up the rocket fuel. Versions of the R-2 for suborbital manned flight were studied by Korolev in 1956-1958, but it was decided instead to move directly to orbital flights of the Vostok. However some equipment tested on the R-2 found its way onto canine flights of Sputnik and Vostok. The R-2 design was transferred to China in 1957 to 1961, providing the technical basis of the Chinese rocket industry. More...
  • Veronique After the cancellation of the 'Super V-2' project, the German team at Vernon pursued development of a tenth-scale version, the Project 4213 Veronique (VERnon et electrONIQUE). The 4 tonne thrust motor, using nitric acid and kerosene, beat the 'pure French' project 4211 Eole design and paved the way leading to the Ariane space booster. More...
  • Lark American surface-to-air missile. Lark missile. More...
  • Snark American intercontinental subsonic cruise missile. Developed 1946-1959; deployed only briefly in 1961 before being made obsolete by ICBM's. More...
  • S-25 Russian surface-to-air missile. First surface-to-air missile deployed by the Soviet Union. Under a crash program ordered by Stalin, development began in 1951, first guided launch was in 1953, and by 1956, 2,640 launchers were deployed in defence of Moscow. The system was upgraded with improved missiles and ground systems into the 1960's. More...
  • Rockoon American air-launched sounding rocket. The Rockoon (balloon-launched rocket) consisted of a small high-performance sounding rocket launched from a balloon above most of the atmosphere. The Rockoon low-cost technique was conceived during an Aerobee firing cruse of the Norton Sound in March 1949. Rockoons were first launched from icebreaker Eastwind off Greenland by an ONR group under James A. Van Allen. They were later used by ONR and University of Iowa research groups in 1953-55 and 1957, from ships in sea between Boston and Thule, Greenland. A variety of upper stage rocket stages were used. More...
  • Bomarc USAF Mach 3 ramjet surface-to-air missile; later converted to target missiles and launched from Vandenberg AFB. More...
  • Talos American Navy long-range ramjet-powered surface-to-air missile. In service 1959-1979. More...
  • Eole French test vehicle. Second missile developed by Jean-Jacques Barre and end of that lineage. More...
  • R-5 Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The R-5 was the first Soviet missile to be armed with a nuclear warhead, the first for which the new southern facility at Dnepropetrovsk took over full design and production responsibility. It was also the end of the road in being the ultimate extrapolation of German V-2 technology. Later missiles of both Yangel and Korolev would use other propellants and engine designs. More...
  • R-11 First Russian ballistic missile using storable propellants, developed from the German Wasserfall SAM by Korolev's OKB. The design was then spun off to the Makeyev OKB for development of Army (R-17 Scud) and SLBM (R-11FMA) derivatives. More...
  • Redstone Redstone was the first large liquid rocket developed in the US using German V-2 technology. Originally designated Hermes C. Redstones later launched the first US satellite and the first American astronaut into space. More...
  • Nike Ajax American surface-to-air missile. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Ajax More...
  • Monica French low-cost, three-stage, solid-propellant sounding rocket developed in France in the 1950's in support of the International Geophysical Year. More...
  • X-17 American test vehicle. USAF X-17 flight test program at Cape Canaveral studied reentry problems by simulating reentry velocities and conditions with a three-stage solid-fuel Lockheed X-17. A total of 26 X-17 flights were conducted until March 1957. More...
  • Rockair American sounding rocket. The Rockair technique (research rocket launched from aircraft) was developed by the Office of Naval Research and the University of Maryland. A 2.75-inch FFAR rocket was fired from a Navy F2H-2 Banshee aircraft to an altitude of approximately 60,000 m. More...
  • Asp American sounding rocket. Sounding rocket (Atmospheric Sounding Projectile) originally designed against a US Navy Bureeau of Ships requirement to sample the mushroom clouds of nuclear explosions. Developed by Cooper Development Corporation for the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. Flight test in 1956. Designed to lift 13.6 kg to 40 km. More...
  • Sergeant American single-stage solid-propulsion tactical ballistic missile developed for the US Army in 1956-1962. Surplus rockets and the Sergeant's rocket motor (known commercially as Castor) became the basis for many sounding rockets. More...
  • Cajun American sounding rocket. The Cajun research rocket was developed as a dimensionally-similar but higher performance successor to the Deacon. More...
  • Kappa Japanese sounding rocket. The Kappa series represented Japan's first large post-war indigenously-developed sounding rockets. They led eventually to the Lambda and Mu solid rocket satellite launchers. More...
  • Recruit American sounding rocket. The Recruit motor was usually used as an upper stage, but in this air-launched vehicle was used for re-entry vehicle heat transfer and aerodynamic stability tests. More...
  • Rockaire American air-launched sounding rocket. This USAF version of the Navy Rockair (research rocket launched from aircraft) vehicle consisted of a Deacon rocket launched from an F-86D Sabrejet fighter. More...
  • Doorknob American test vehicle. Test vehicle developed by Sandia for aeronomy measurements during atmospheric nuclear tests. One (Doorknob-1) or two surplus Lacrosse (Doorknob-2) missile motors were mated with the payload section. More...
  • Skylark British sounding rocket. The Skylark sounding rocket (originally named the Gassiot High Altitude Vehicle) was produced by the Royal Aircraft Establishment and first introduced in 1957, during the International Geophysical Year. It remained in European service until 2005. The original basic single-stage Skylark version used a Raven 1 motor (Rook derivative). The RPE Raven 1 burned 840 kg of propellant (ammonium perchlorate, polyisobutylene binder and aluminium powder) in thirty seconds with a 1450 kNs total impulse at sea level. More...
  • Jupiter American intermediate range ballistic missile. The Jupiter IRBM was developed for the US Army. By the time development was complete, the mission and the missile was assigned to the US Air Force, which had its own nearly identical missile, the Thor. Jupiters were stationed in Turkey and Italy in the early 1960's, but withdrawn in secret exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet R-5 missiles from Cuba. The Jupiter was used as the first stage of the relatively unsuccessful Juno II launch vehicle, and proposed for the Juno III and Juno IV. Jupiter tooling and engines were used to build the much larger Juno V / Saturn I launch vehicle. More...
  • SE.4400 French surface-to-air missile. SNCASE missile design using a Stromboli booster and two ramjet sustainers. More...
  • Kosmos 2 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. In 1960 the Soviet government decreed development of a lightweight launch vehicle for launch of payloads not requiring R-7 family of boosters. A modification of the R-12 IRBM was selected as the first stage; a new high-performance second stage was developed using a unique Lox/UDMH propellant combination. After two failures, the first successful flight was on March 16, 1962. More...
  • M-100 Two-stage, solid propellant, fin stabilized, unguided Russian sounding rocket, fired in greater numbers than any other. At least 6,640 of all models were fired to the edge of space before the vehicle was discontinued in 1990. 4,908 of the basic M-100 model were fired from 1957-07-11 to 1983-09-28. More...
  • Burya A government decree on 20 May 1954 authorised the Lavochkin aircraft design bureau to proceed with full-scale development of the Burya trisonic intercontinental cruise missile. Burya launches began in July 1957. The project was cancelled, but the team was allowed final tests in 1961 that demonstrated a 6,500 km range at Mach 3.2 with the 2,350 kg payload. In cancelling Burya the Russians gave up technology that Lavochkin planned to evolve into a manned shuttle-like recoverable launch vehicle. More...
  • Mohr Rocket Engineer Ernst Mohr of Wuppertal, under the auspices of the German Rocket Society, developed a sounding rocket that was designed to reach altitudes of 50 km. A solid rocket motor with 7800 kgf would take the separable payload section to a speed of 1200 m/s. The booster had a diameter of 0.30 m, a length of 1.7 m, a total mass of 135 kg including 75 kg of solid propellant. The payload dart was 56 mm in diameter, 1.25 m long, and had a total mass of 15 kg. More...
  • Long Tom Australian sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Long Tom + 1 x Mayfly More...
  • Vanguard American orbital launch vehicle. Vanguard was the 'civilian' vehicle developed by the US Navy to launch America's first satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Army / von Braun Jupiter-C instead launched the first US satellite after Sputnik and Vanguard's public launch failure. The second stage design led to the Able upper stage for Thor/Atlas, and then to the Delta upper stage still in use in the 21st Century. The original version of Vanguard used a Grand Central final stage. More...
  • Apache American sounding rocket. The Apache upper stage was an improved version of the Cajun. The Thiokol engine used aluminised polyurethane propellant with a higher specific impulse and phenolic lining in the steel nozzle. Cost to NASA was $ 6,000 per rocket. The Apache could be used in a single stage version, but was normally used with a booster stage, usually the Nike. More...
  • Bold Orion American air-launched anti-ballistic missile. Dropped from B-47 medium bombers, the missile consisted of a Sergeant booster and Altair upper stage. More...
  • Exos American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Recruit More...
  • Project Pilot American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. The US Navy's satellite launcher project competed with the Army's Jupiter-C, the Air Force Atlas, and the civilian Vanguard. Air-launched satellite launch vehicle, and anti-satellite versions, tested by the US Navy shortly after Sputnik. One may have achieved orbit. More...
  • Jason American sounding rocket. The five-stage Jason rocket was developed by the US Air Force for monitoring of radiation in near-earth space (700-800 km) after high altitude nuclear explosions. Originally known as the Argo E-5, it consisted of an Honest John plus Nike plus Nike plus Recruit plus T-55. First used in 1958. More...
  • Arcon American sounding rocket. Similar to the Deacon and Cajun. Developed by the Atlantic Research Corp. for NRL. First used in 1958. Designed to lift 18 kg to 113 km. The two-stage vehicle consisted of two Arcon motors in tandem. More...
  • High Virgo American air-launched test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x B-58 Hustler + 1 x TX-20 Sergeant More...
  • Black Knight The Black Knight was a British test vehicle designed to test re-entry vehicles for the Blue Streak MRBM. It was subsequently used for a series of US-sponsored test of RV radar signatures. More...
  • V-1000 Russian anti-ballistic missile. First Soviet anti-ballistic missile system. Development began in 1956 and the system was tested at Sary Shagan 1960 to 1961. It was clear that enormous development work was needed to achieve an operational anti-ballistic missile system. Therefore work began on the successor A-35 system, although the Americans were led to believe that an operational system was deployed around Moscow. The System A anti-ballistic missile equipped with the V-1000 rocket made the first intercept and destruction in the world using a conventional warhead of an intermediate range ballistic missile warhead coming in at 3 km/s on 4 May 1961. The US did not demonstrate an equivalent capability until 1984. More...
  • Aeolus Australian test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aeolus Booster + 1 x Mayfly More...
  • Arcas American sounding rocket. The Arcas (All-Purpose Rocket for Collecting Atmospheric Soundings) was developed by the Atlantic Research Corporation for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with the support of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Primarily a meteorological rocket, the Arcas was first fired in July 1959. The single-stage version was designed to lift 5.4 kg to 64 km. For more demanding missions, several versions of boosted Arcas were developed, as well as a stretched Super Arcas motor. More...
  • Daniel French test vehicle. Three stage test vehicle for Israel's Jericho consisting of 1 x SPRAN-50 + 1 x MD-620 + 1 x Melanie More...
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Draco American test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x TX-20 Sergeant + 1 x TX-30 More...
  • Trailblazer American test vehicle. The Trailblazer rockets were designed to conduct experiments in re-entry physics. More...
  • Hound Dog First American air-launched cruise missile to become operational. Based on Navaho technology. More...
  • Antares French test vehicle. Antares was a re-entry vehicle test booster. The first three stages lofted the fourth stage and RV model to 150 km altitude. The fourth stage then fired downward to ram the RV at Mach 7 into the atmosphere. More...
  • Rook British test vehicle. Single stage vehicle consisting of a Rook solid rocket motor. Used initially for supersonic tests of aircraft models. More...
  • Javelin American sounding rocket. The four-stage Javelin rocket was originally known as the Argo D-4 and was developed by the Air Force to replace its Jason rocket with the mission of measuring radiation in space after high-altitude nuclear explosions. It was subsequently used by NASA for a variety of high-altitude near-space scientific experiments. More...
  • Little Joe Little Joe was used to test the Mercury capsule launch escape system. The booster was designed by NASA Langley using existing components. Six to eight solid rocket motors were mounted in an aerodynamic finned fairing built by North American. More...
  • Nike Zeus American anti-ballistic missile. First anti-ballistic missile tested by US. Protoypes were deployed operationally from the mid-Pacific test base as nuclear-tipped ASAT missiles. Cancelled 1966; replaced by the Spartan missile. More...
  • Minuteman American intercontinental ballistic missile. Mainstay of the US deterrent. 1,000 Minuteman silos were built in the early 1960's, and the missile was to remain in service to the mid-21st Century. As versions were retired and updated, they provided a plentiful source of surplus rocket motors for other projects. More...
  • Leopard British test vehicle. Two stage aerodynamic test vehicle consisting of 1 x Rook + 1 x Gosling. Developed from the basic Rook vehicle for tests requiring higher velocities. More...
  • Mace American intermediate range cruise missile. Intermediate range cruise missile. Only Cape Canaveral launches are listed here, but over 30 launches were also conducted from Launch Area Able-51 by Det 1, 4504th CCTW at Holloman AFB, New Mexico from October 1959 throurgh 1963. More...
  • Kumulus Kumulus was a single-stage sounding rocket developed by the German Rocket Society in the late 1950's. It could carry meteorological, postal, or biological payloads up to a speed of 750 m/s and an altitude of 20 km. All launches were made from Cuxhaven, and discontinued when the German government prohibited civilian rocket launches in June 1964. The propellant was developed by the DRG and fabricated at Liebenau Company for Production of Chemical Materials (GmbH zur Verwertung chemischer Erzeugnisse Liebenau). More...
  • Strongarm American test vehicle. A large five-stage rocket developed by the Army Ballistics Research Laboratory with the cooperation of the University of Michigan. Consisted of an Honest John plus Nike plus Nike plus modified Recruit plus a scaled-down Sergeant. Fired first from Wallops Island on November 10, 1959. Could lift 6.8 kg to 1600 km. More...
  • Argo American sounding rocket. Argo sounding rockets measured radiation caused by the Project Argus high altitude nuclear explosions. The missiles reached 800 km altitude, and were launched from Wallops Island, AMR, and Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. The Argo A-1, also known as Percheron, consisted of a modified Sergeant plus 2 Recruits, and was later used on occasion by NASA's Langley Research Center. It could lift 180 kg to 177 km. The Argo D-4, D-8, and E-5 are listed under Javelin, Journeyman, and Jason. More...
  • Jaguar B-57 American air-launched test vehicle. Three stage vehicle air launched from a B-57A Canberra. The rocket consisted of consisting of 3 x Recruit + 1 x Recruit + 1 x Baby Sergeant More...
  • Sparoair American air-launched sounding rocket. Air-launched two stage vehicle consisting of tandem Sparrow air-to-air missile motors. More...
  • T-7 Chinese sounding rocket. China's first sounding rocket and first indigenously-built sounding rocket, launched from 1960-1965. The basic vehicle consisted of a single liquid propellant stage. This was later augmented with solid propellant booster stages. Later versions dispensed with the liquid propellant stage. More...
  • Astrobee American sounding rocket. Aerojet-designed family of sounding rockets conceived as a lower-cost replacement of the liquid-propellant Aerobee. More...
  • Scout American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Solid-fuel, light payload, lower-cost launch vehicle developed by the Air Force and NASA in the late 1950's and used in a variety of configurations over thirty years. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Wallops Island, and from Italy's equatorial San Marco platform off Kenya. Italy studied but did not develop subsequent upgraded versions. More...
  • R-21 Russian submarine-launched ballistic missile. First flight 1962. NATO code Serb may apply to SS-N-6 instead. First subsurface launched SLBM (development began at OKB- 586 and transferred to SKB-385). More...
  • Hopi American sounding rocket. The Hopi-Dart vehicle consisted of a Hopi III booster as first stage, and an unpowered dart as second stage. A boosted version of the configuration used a Kiva motor as the first stage. More...
  • Iris American sounding rocket. Sounding rocket developed by Navy, then handed over to NASA. Flown only four times, but then used in unique Hydra-Iris test series. More...
  • Caleb American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Heavily classifed project related to air-launched ASAT development. Launch tests in 1958. NOTS project staff believed they successully orbited a satellite but unconfirmed. More...
  • Jaguar The Jaguar was designed by the RAE Supersonics Department as part of the HRV (Hypersonic Research Vehicle) program. This was a joint project with the Australian Weapons Research Establishment for testing of re-entry vehicles at high speeds. Regardless of the variant, the Rook first stage would propel the upper stages and subscale RV to a high altitude. The upper stages would then fire downward to push the RV into the atmosphere at speeds of up to 5 km/s. After the conclusion of the HRV project in April 1970, tests continued using the Jabiru 3 with other aerothermal experiments until November 1974. More...
  • Journeyman American sounding rocket. Five stage vehicle of the Argo series consisting of 2 x Recruit + 1 x Sergeant + 1 x Lance + 1 x Lance + 1 x Altair More...
  • R-16 Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The Soviet Union's first practical ICBM, a two stage vehicle using storable propellants. Development began in 1956 and the missile was in service from 1962 to 1974. Peak deployment consisted of 186 launchers, about a third of them in missile silos, the rest in fixed 'soft' installations. More...
  • VE Series of Experimental Vehicles (VE's), each named after precious stones, leading to the MSBS/SSBS solid propellant missiles that made up the French nuclear deterrent. More...
  • Vega SAM French surface-to-air missile, tested at Hammaguir in early 1961 but not put into production. More...
  • R-9 Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM developed by Korolev OKB using liquid oxygen/kerosene propellants. The Soviet military favoured storable propellants as advocated by Glushko and implemented by Yangel and Chelomei. Development of the R-9 was protracted and it was deployed in only very limited numbers between 1964 and 1974. More...
  • HAD Australian test vehicle. The HAD vehicle was, like HAT, a two stage rocket, based on British Gosling and LAPStar motors. First launched in 1961, it had two test flights before becoming operational. More...
  • Belier Family of sounding rockets, developed by Sud Aviation, with the only or upper stage being variants of the Belier stage powered by a Jericho rocket motor. These were the most significant series of French civilian suborbital rockets. Manufacturing licenses were sold to India and Pakistan, becoming the basis of their rocket industries. More...
  • RAM American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. More...
  • Cirrus Cirrus was a two-stage sounding rocket developed by the German Rocket Society in the late 1950's. All launches were made from Cuxhaven, and discontinued when the German government prohibited civilian rocket launches in June 1964. The propellant was developed by the DRG and fabricated at Liebenau Company for Production of Chemical Materials (GmbH zur Verwertung chemischer Erzeugnisse Liebenau). More...
  • Saturn I American orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun launch vehicle known as 'Cluster's Last Stand' - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it. More...
  • Al Zahar Egyptian short range ballistic missile. United Arab Republic neither confirmed nor denied reports of November 8 that it had successfully launched its first rocket. Dr. Eugen Saenger of the Stuttgart Jet Propulsion Institute in Germany denied any connection with the United Arab Republic program as charged by Israel. More...
  • Argus American sounding rocket. NASA Bios (biological investigation of space). More...
  • Sea Bee American sea-launched test vehicle. Seabee was a brief proof of principle program to validate the sea-launch concept for Sea Dragon. A surplus Aerobee rocket was modified so that it could be fired underwater. The rocket worked properly the first time in restrained mode. Later tests were made with various approaches to readying the unit for repeat firings. This proved to be so simple that the cost of turn-around was found to be about 7% of the cost of a new unit. More...
  • Skua British sounding rocket. In 1959, the Royal Meteorological Office's High Altitude Research Unit contracted with Bristol Aerojet and RPE Wescott to develop a low-cost meteorological rocket designed to reach altitudes of 80 km. The resulting Skua design consisted of Chick boosters which burned for 0.2 seconds to blast the rocket 20 m above the 5 m launch tube. Then the Bantam second stage would ignite and boost the payload to altitude. Four Skua variants were flown over the years. More...
  • A-35 Russian anti-ballistic missile. First operational Soviet ABM system, going into limited operation around Moscow in 1972. More...
  • RT-1 The RT-1 (RT = rocket, solid in Russian) was the first large Soviet solid propellant ballistic missile. It was developed and tested in 1959-1963, but no production was undertaken due to its poor performance. More...
  • DF-2 First Chinese IRBM, a single stage missile with the objective of carrying a 1500 kg warhead to Japan. The starting point for the design were R-12 construction drawings and a single exemplar of the missile provided by the Soviet Union prior to the break with Moscow in 1960. Following protracted development the design was accepted by the Chinese military for service in 1970. More...
  • Skybolt American strategic air-to-surface ballistic missile, development started in 1959. Program cancelled amid huge controversy in 1963 after Britain had agreed to buy the weapon in place of its own Blue Streak. More...
  • MR-12 Russian sounding rocket. The MR-12 sounding rocket was developed by the Soviet Union as a modern replacement for the MR-1 Meteo. It was a single stage solid rocket with a 170 kg payload. Payload section 1.55 m long, 0.445 m in diameter. More...
  • Berenice French sounding rocket. Berenice was Onera's successor to the Antares re-entry vehicle test booster. It was nearly double the mass of Antares. More...
  • Gamma Centauro Argentinan sounding rocket. Argentine two-stage solid-propellant fin-stabilized rocket flown in the early 1960's for technology development and scientific research. More...
  • Seliger German sounding rocket. Berthold Seliger's firm designed a modular series of sounding rockets in 1961-1964. One, two, and three stage versions were built, reaching 52, 80, and 120 km altitude. More...
  • P-6 Russian intermediate range cruise missile. More...
  • Sea Horse American sea-launched test vehicle. The second phase of Sea Launch was to demonstrate the concept on a larger scale, with a rocket with a complex set of guidance and control systems. Sea Horse used one of 39 surplus Corporal missiles that Truax obtained from the Army and successfully demonstrated ignition in the ocean of a rocket stage. More...
  • Meteor Family of Polish sounding rockets developed by the Polish Aviation Institute for the Polish Hydro-Meteorological institute beginning in 1962. More...
  • Martlet Canadian gun-launched orbital launch vehicle. In 1962-1967 Canada's Gerard Bull led development of the Martlet system for gun-launched access to space. The program was cancelled before the objective of gun launch to orbit was attained. More...
  • Emma French test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Emma Booster + 1 x Emma More...
  • Raven American sounding rocket. Single stage vehicle. More...
  • Tomahawk Sandia American sounding rocket. Test and sounding vehicles developed by Sandia using the TE-416 Tomahawk motor. More...
  • HAT Australian test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x HAT + 1 x LAPSTAR More...
  • Lambda Japanese all-solid orbital launch vehicle. All solid-propellant vehicle, Japan's first satellite launcher. The L-4S project simulated the procedures and demonstrated the capabilities required for orbital satellite launch essential to the follow-on Mu project. More...
  • Little Joe II American test vehicle. Little Joe II was an enlarged version of the Little Joe concept used in the Mercury program, used to test the Apollo capsule launch escape system. The vehicle was designed by General Dynamics. Six to nine solid rocket motors were mounted in an aerodynamic finned fairing. More...
  • UR-200 Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. Universal rocket designed by Chelomei to cover the ICBM, FOBS, satellite launch vehicle, and spaceplane booster roles. Flight tested in 1963-1964 but cancelled in favour of Yangel's R-36. More...
  • Apollo LES American test vehicle. Flight tests from a surface pad of the Apollo Launch Escape System using a boilerplate capsule. More...
  • Athena RTV American test vehicle. The Athena was designed to simulate the re-entry environment of an intercontinental ballistic missile and was one of the few examples of sustained interstate missile tests within the United States. More...
  • N1 1969 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...
  • MT-135 Japanese sounding rocket. The MT-135 was a small single-stage sounding rocket designed to collect data on the middle atmosphere, such as ozone layer depletion. More...
  • Lex French sounding rocket. Single stage vehicle. More...
  • Diamant French orbital launch vehicle. In December 1961 France decided to demonstrate an indigenous satellite-launch capability, using stages in development for its ballistic missile program. Following careful evolutionary development, Diamant was successful on its first attempt in 1965. Improved versions were flown over the next ten years. More...
  • Belenos French sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Elan + 1 x Aurore More...
  • Aero High Australian sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Gosling IV + 1 x Vela More...
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...
  • Lacrosse American tactical ballistic missile. Nuclear-armed short-range ballistic missile briefly deployed by the U.S. Army in the late 1950s. Its rocket motor was the basis for the Doorknob sounding rocket. More...
  • Regulus 1 American intermediate range subsonic cruise missile. The Regulus was the first strategic long-range nuclear-armed guided missile deployed by the US Navy. More...
  • RT-15 Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The RT-15 IRBM used the second and third stages if the RT-2 ICBM. After protracted development in 1961-1970 with a range of alternative self-propelled mobile launchers, limited numbers ('few' to 19) of two types of launchers were deployed in 1970. The various transporters tested created confusion in the West (with designations SS-14 Scapegoat and Scamp being applied). More...
  • UR-100 Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The UR-100 lightweight ICBM was the Soviet answer to the US Minuteman and was deployed in larger numbers than any other in history. It remained an enigma outside of intelligence circles in the West until after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It allowed the Soviet Union to match, and then surpass the United States in strategic deterrent capability. As such it was Vladimir Chelomei's crowning legacy to his country. More...
  • R-27 Russian submarine-launched ballistic missile. First flight 1967. Correct NATO code may be Serb; Sawfly was competitor. Development completed 1968. More...
  • HIBEX American anti-ballistic missile. Hibex was a 5.2 m long test vehicle used by the Army in a series of research experiments investigating high performance missile boosters. During mid-1960's experimental flights at White Sands, Hibex was fired successfully from underground cells and above-ground launch sites. More...
  • Sprint Nuclear-armed point defense anti-ballistic missile, an incredible high-acceleration weapon that would intercept incoming Soviet ICBMs in the atmosphere within 15 seconds of launch. Deployment limited by arms agreements and only 70 were briefly in service in 1975-1976. More...
  • 7 inch HARP Gun Canadian gun-launched sounding rocket. The highly successful 5 inch HARP gun had demonstrated the immense versatility of small portable gun systems for atmospheric exploration. The 7 inch HARP gun system represented the 5 inch system scaled up to the largest barrel size practical, while still remaining portable. More...
  • NAL Japanese test vehicle. Single stage vehicles. More...
  • RT-2 Development of the RT-2, the Soviet Union's first solid propellant ICBM, was undertaken by Sergei Korolev and his successor from 1961-1968. It was a huge technical challenge, involving technology in which the Russians had no prior experience. The high-priority RT-2 preoccupied Korolev and his team throughout the period of the moon race, and could be considered a factor in the loss of that race to the Americans. In the end only sixty were deployed, but these provided the technical basis for Russian ballistic missiles of the 1980's and beyond. More...
  • ALARR American air-launched test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x F4D Phantom + 1 x Genie-Alarr More...
  • Europa European orbital launch vehicle. Europe's first space launcher. The first stage was a British Blue Streak IRBM, the second stage the French Coralie, and the third stage the German Astris. All orbital launch attempts failed due to unreliability of the third stage. The project was cancelled after withdrawal of British support and replaced by the Ariane. More...
  • Wasp American sounding rocket. Wasp research and develoment chaff and parachute rockets were used to obtain wind soundings to 260,000 m, fired by Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility at WSPG. More...
  • Sandhawk American sounding rocket. The Sandhawk motor was developed for Sandia primarily for use in multi-stage rockets launched in support of Atomic Energy Agency activities. It was however flown as a single-stage vehicle in initial tests of the motor and some subsequent scientific mission.s More...
  • Scanner American sounding rocket. Four stage vehicle consisting of 2 x Recruit + 1 x Aerojet Jr + 1 x Lance + 1 x Altair More...
  • Strypi American target missile. Family of re-entry vehicle test boosters and anti-missile targets using a Castor first stage with two recruit strap-ons, plus a range of upper stages. More...
  • Mu The Japanese Mu launcher series provided a flexible all-solid propellant launch vehicle for access to space. It was the first Japanese launch vehicle designed from the start as an orbital launch vehicle. More...
  • DF-3 Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. The DF-3 project began in 1964 with the objective of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the Philippines (earlier referred to as the DF-1). More...
  • Stromboli French sounding rocket. The second series of Sud Aviation sounding rockets were designed to carry large diameter payloads, and used Stromboli motors only. More...
  • Petrel British sounding rocket. Petrel was a larger sounding rocket built by Bristol Aerojet using the same tube-launch technique as Skua. A total of 240 Petrels were launched from 1967-1982 from many sites around the world. More...
  • S-225 Russian anti-ballistic missile. Anti-ballistic missile system developed in parallel with the A-35, but not put into production. More...
  • RT-20P Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. Following the protracted development of Shavyrin's Gnom air-augmented ICBM, it was decided to let Yangel tackle the problem of developing a 30 tonne gross mass ICBM using more conventional technology. At first a three-stage solid propellant design was considered. But it was found impossible to achieve the launch weight with such an approach. Yangel's solution was to propose the only mixed propulsion ICBM ever developed - a solid propellant first stage, and high performance ampulised storable liquid propellant second stage. The draft project for the missile was completed in December 1964 and a decree to proceed with development was issued on 24 August 1965. Shortly thereafter Shavyrin died and Gnom was cancelled, leaving Yangel's RT-20P the lead project for the mobile ICBM requirement. Designs for silo-launched and submarine-launched versions of the missile were to be developed as well. More...
  • Micon Swiss surface-to-air missile. The dual-thrust (45 kN then 22 kN) solid propellant motor providing a total impulse of 900 kN-sec. More...
  • Spartan American anti-ballistic missile evolved from the Nike Zeus and designed to intercept ICBM warheads in space. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x TX-500 + 1 x TX-454 + 1 x TX-239 solid propellant motors. Nearly as large and just as costly as the missiles it was designed to intercept. After 20 years of development, deployment was limited by arms agreements, and 30 were only briefly in service in 1975-1976. More...
  • Poseidon American submarine-launched ballistic missile. SLBM, 2 stages, inertial guided, nuclear MIRV warhead, range that of twice Polaris A-3. More...
  • Rocketsonde American sounding rocket. Meteorological sounding rockets that could use Loki Datasonde, Arcas, or Deacon rockets as the booster. More...
  • Kookaburra Australian sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Lupus + 1 x Musca More...
  • Black Arrow British orbital launch vehicle. Britain's only indigenous launch vehicle. Following cancellation of the project in July 1971, one final launch was permitted, which successfully placed the Prospero satellite in orbit. More...
  • INTA The Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial was tasked in 1967 to develop Spain's first sounding rocket. INTA contracted with British Aerojet to provide the necessary technical expertise and designed a rocket built from existing British solid motors. This was followed by versions using Spanish-manufactured versions of British motors. The stop-and-go program extended over nearly 30 years. More...
  • Stonechat British test vehicle. Single stage hypersonic test vehicles using variants of the Stonechat solid rocket motor. More...
  • CZ-1 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China began development of the CZ-1 (Changzheng-1 = Long March-1) launch vehicle in the second half of 1965. The project was undertaken with the specific objective of launching China's first satellite, the DFH-1. The CZ-l's first and second stages were adapted from those of the DF-3 intermediate range ballistic missile. The third stage used a new-design solid rocket motor. More...
  • 5 inch HARP Gun Canadian gun-launched sounding rocket. When most people think of the HARP Program they usually think of the big 16 inch guns roaring skywards as they launch test probes into the upper atmosphere. What most people do not realise was that even before HARP small portable gun launchers were used for the same purpose and even during HARP hundreds of high altitude flights were conducted using small guns. The 5 inch gun-launch system was initially designed to satisfy the requirements of the Meteorological Rocket Network This required that an 0.9 kg (2 lb) payload be carried to an altitude of 65 km (40 miles). Typical payloads were radar reflective chaff ejected at apogee, which was tracked by radar to yield wind data, and small Metsondes which drifted to earth under large parachutes and returned radio telemetry of temperature, humidity and the like. More...
  • Little John American tactical ballistic rocket. The Little John was the smallest nuclear-capable rocket the U.S. Army ever deployed. Studies to develop a lightweight rocket based on the M31/MGR-1 Honest John to give airborne Army units a nuclear capability began in 1953 under the name Honest John Junior. After preliminary studies by Douglas during 1954, the development program - renamed as Little John - was officially started at Redstone Arsenal in June 1955. More...
  • Temp-S The Temp-S was the first solid propellant tactical guided missile deployed in the USSR. It was designed by A D Nadiradze at NII-1 and formed the basis of subsequent designs leading to current modern Russian ICBM's. More...
  • DF-4 Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. Development of the DF-4 began in 1964 with the objective of fielding a ballistic missile capable of hitting Guam. The technical solution was to add a second stage to the DF-3 IRBM. More...
  • M55E1 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M55E1 + 1 x SR19AJ1 More...
  • Cockatoo The Cockatoo solid-propellant sounding rocket replaced HAD at Woomera in 1970, and consisted of a British Gosling I first stage and an Australian Lupus 1 second stage. More...
  • D-21 American air-launched drone. Project 'Tagboard', Project 'Senior Bowl'. Mach 3.5 ramjet recoverable reconnaisance drone air-launched from back of A-12 or with booster rocket from B-52. More...
  • MR-UR-100 Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The Yangel MR-UR-100 was designed as a replacement for Chelomei's UR-100 at the end of its 10 year storage life. Although it could be installed in the same silos, it was 50% heavier. The competing design of Chelomei, the UR-100N, was also put into production when the Soviet hierarchy deadlocked and could not pick one design over the other. More...
  • Temp-2S Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. World's first operational mobile ICBM. Deployed in greaty secrecy in 1976-1987 contrary to the terms of the SALT-2 Treaty. More...
  • Ute American sounding rocket. The Ute (TU-715) motor was developed from the Genie motor baseline. Later derivatives were combined with booster or upper stages. More...
  • Safeguard American anti-ballistic missile. Safeguard ABM system consisted of Sprint and Spartan missiles More...
  • Alfa Italy briefly flirted with the creation of an independent nuclear deterrent in the late 1960's. The Alfa project for an indigenous Italian submarine- and ship-launched ballistic missile was begun in 1971. Three Alfa test missiles with inert second stages were successfully launched in 1975-1976 from Salto di Quirra in Sardinia. The programme was abandoned at this stage, when Italy and its neighbours ratified the nuclear proliferation treaty. More...
  • Tater American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x Terrier + 1 x Recruit More...
  • Lorikeet Australian test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Dorado + 1 x Lupus More...
  • SRAM American Short Range Attack Missile, an air-launched nuclear-armed solid-propellant stand-off weapon to allow B-52 and FB-111 bombers to penetrate Soviet air space. In service 1972-1990. Retired after the collapse of the Soviet Union. More...
  • Pioner Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. Mobile solid propellant intermediate range multiple warhead ballistic missile. Seen as an enormous threat to NATO. 405 launchers deployed by 1987 when the missile was banned by the INF Treaty. More...
  • R-31 Russian submarine launched ballistic missile. First Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile to reach production using solid propellants. Deployed from 1980, but withdrawn in 1990 under the terms of the SALT-2 Treaty. More...
  • Corella Australian sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Gosling + 1 x Dorado More...
  • MMR-06 Russian sounding rocket. Soviet solid propellant sounding rocket, capable of lofting 5 to 11 kg to 60 km altitude. Launch mass 130 kg, 9 seconds burn time. Nose ejects at apogee. Flown in both conical nose and boosted dart configurations. More...
  • Fulmar British sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Heron (107 kN) + 1 x Snipe (16.7 kN). More...
  • Otrag $200 million was spent from 1975-1987 by Lutz Kayer in a serious attempt to develop a low-cost satellite launcher using clusters of mass-produced pressure-fed liquid propellant modules. The project was finally squelched by the German government under pressure from the Soviet and French. More...
  • SLV Indian all-solid orbital launch vehicle. More...
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • DOT American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 2 x Recruit + 1 x Castor + 1 x Star 26C More...
  • 761 Chinese sounding rocket. Lightweight two-stage solid propellant sounding rocket. Designation indicates development was authorised in January 1976. Evidently replaced both the HP2 and HP6 from about 1980 on. Used for routine measurement of the upper atmosphere. More...
  • Percheron American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Low cost commercial test vehicle. First test failed and satellite launch project sank for lack of further investors and customers. More...
  • RT-23 Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The only rail-based ICBM ever deployed. Developed by Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine was protracted, but understandable given the huge technical challenges. Twelve years of design and testing was followed by deployment from 1988. All were retired by 2003. More...
  • HOE American anti-ballistic missile. Two stage vehicle used to test the Homing Overlay Experiment anti-ballistic missile kill vehicle. More...
  • Peacekeeper American intercontinental ballistic missile. 10 nuclear MIRV warheads. In service 1986-2004. More...
  • ASAT American anti-satellite missile. The ASAT air-launched anti-satellite missile was developed by Vought in response to a 1977 Air Force requirement for a missile that could be launched from an F-15A fighter yet was capable of intercepting and destroying enemy satellites in low earth orbit. Four of five tests were successful before the program was cancelled in 1988. More...
  • Dolphin American sea-launched test vehicle. The Dolphin hybrid rocket (solid fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer) was built by Starstruck (formerly ARC Technology), a predecessor to AMROC. The Dolphin included not only innovative propulsion technology but was also launched from a floating launch cannister at sea. One test article of the hybrid was successfully launched in the summer of 1984. But the project was backed entirely with private funds and when backing for further development was not forthcoming, the project folded. More...
  • Energia The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) began development in 1976 as a Soviet booster that would exceed the capabilities of the US shuttle system. Following extended development, Energia made two successful flights in 1987-1988. But the Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Funding dried up and the Energia-Buran program completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993. More...
  • TR-1 Japanese test vehicle. Single stage vehicle. More...
  • Hades French short range ballistic missile. Single stage vehicle More...
  • SICBM American mobile small intercontinental ballistic missile. Developed 1986-1991, but cancelled as unnecessary at the end of the Cold War. More...
  • RSA South African orbital launch vehicle. Israel and South Africa collaborated closely in rocket technology in the 1970's and 1980's. South Africa provided Israel with the uranium and test facilities it needed for its strategic weapons programmes. In exchange Israel provided aerospace technology. This included the capability of building the ten-tonne solid propellant rocket motors designed for the Israeli Jericho-2 missile. These motors were the basis of two space launchers for an indigenous 'R5b' space programme. It seems that South Africa also planned to use these motors in a series of missiles to provide a nuclear deterrent. More...
  • AMROC American low cost orbital launch vehicle. The AMROC corporation proposed to develop low-cost hybrid-propulsion orbital launch vehicles in the 1980's. Actual flight hardware did not go beyond a small test vehicle. More...
  • Tamouz Iraqi space launch vehicle/ICBM based on clustering of Scud tactical missiles. Canadian rocket scientist Gerald Bull was allegedly killed by Israeli agents not for his work on the supergun, but rather for his much more damaging assistance to the Iraqis in doing the dynamic calculations for the Tamouz. More...
  • HEDI American anti-ballistic missile. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x X-265 + 1 x X-271 More...
  • ERIS American anti-ballistic missile. Flight test vehicle for Exoatmospheric Re-Entry Interceptor Subsystem, an anti-ballistic missile hit-to-kill interceptor warhead. The ERIS vehicle itself consisted of surplus Minuteman ICBM second and third stages. More...
  • Storm American target missile. Two-stage Orbital Sciences vehicle used as targets in THAAD anti-ballistic missile tests. Consisted of a Sergeant first stage and Minuteman third stage as second stage. Twelve were launched January 1992 - December 1995. More...
  • Castor-Orbus American sounding rocket. Vehicle consisting 1 x Castor + 1 x Orbus 1, sometimes augmented with a Recruit booster stage. More...
  • MERA Russian sounding rocket. Two-stage small meteorological sounding rocket, consisting of two identical solid rocket motors in tandem, stabilised by fins, topped by a payload dart with instrumentation. More...
  • DC-X American VTOVL test vehicle. The DC-X was an experimental vehicle, 1/3 the size of a planned DC-Y vertical-takeoff/vertical-landing, single stage to orbit prototype. It was not designed as an operational vehicle capable of achieving orbital flight. Its purpose was to test the feasibility of both suborbital and orbital reusable launch vehicles using the VTOVL scheme. The DC-X flew in three test series. The first series ran from August 18 to September 30, 1993, before the initial project funding ran out in late October 1993. Additional funding was provided and a second series was conducted June 1994-July 1995. More...
  • Astrid American test vehicle. Single stage vehicle to demonstrate laser-pumped propulsion. More...
  • Athena American orbital launch vehicle. Privately funded family of solid propellant satellite launch vehicles. Originally known as LMLV (Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle); LLV (Lockheed Launch Vehicle). Sales did not develop as hoped by the company after the MEO-satellite bubble burst in the 1990's. More...
  • J Japanese all-solid orbital launch vehicle. All-solid rocket motor launch vehicle. Because of the high cost, the original J-1 design was superseded by an alternate J-1 F2 with a different booster stage. More...
  • Hyperion American sounding rocket. Series of single-stage sounding rockets using eAc hybrid propulsion. More...
  • HYSR American sounding rocket. Hybrid single stage rocket intended to replace multiple-stage sounding rockets. More...
  • Tier One American winged rocketplane. Burt Rutan's Tier One was the second manned reusable suborbital launch system (after the B-52/X-15). But it was developed privately at a small fraction of the cost. More...

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