Encyclopedia Astronautica
Wallops Island LA4


Tomahawk Sandia, Sergeant, Little Joe, Journeyman launch complex. Launch Area 4

Longitude: -75.4701 deg.
Latitude: 37.8508 deg.
First Launch: 1961.04.28.
Last Launch: 1970.10.09.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Mercury American manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1960.01.21 (Mercury LJ-1B) to 1963.05.15 (Mercury MA-9). America's first man-in-space project. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the orbital payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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...
  • Nike Tomahawk American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of a Nike booster and Tomahawk upper stage. Payload 45 kg to 370 km or 115 kg to 215 km. More...
  • Castor American suborbital launch vehicle. Single stage version. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...

Wallops Island LA4 Chronology


1961 April 28 - . 14:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. LV Family: Little Joe. Launch Vehicle: Little Joe 1 4C. LV Configuration: Little Joe 1-4C LJ-5B.
  • Mercury LJ-5B - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 4.00 km (2.40 mi). Little Joe 5B (LJ-5B) was launched from Wallops Island to test the Mercury escape system under maximum dynamic pressure conditions. At the time of lift-off, one of the launch vehicle rocket motors did not ignite until after 4 seconds had elapsed. This delay caused the launch vehicle to pitch into a lower trajectory than had been planned, with a result that the abort maneuver experienced greater dynamic pressures than had been specified in the flight test plan. Other than this, all other sequential systems operated according to plan, and after landing, a normal helicopter recovery was accomplished. Thus, all test objectives were met and were actually exceeded because the spacecraft withstood the higher dynamic pressures.

1965 June 30 - . 05:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman. LV Configuration: Journeyman NASA 11.03UR.
  • Radio astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,770 km (1,090 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. LV Family: Tomahawk Sandia. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk. LV Configuration: Nike Tomahawk NASA 18.104GA.
  • Thermosphere Eclipse aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 289 km (179 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. LV Family: Tomahawk Sandia. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk. LV Configuration: Nike Tomahawk NASA 18.105GA.
  • Thermosphere Eclipse aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 290 km (180 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 18:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. LV Family: Tomahawk Sandia. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk. LV Configuration: Nike Tomahawk NASA 18.106GA.
  • Eclipse aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 290 km (180 mi).

1970 October 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA4. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Castor. LV Configuration: Castor-2R.
  • SPED II re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

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