Encyclopedia Astronautica
HJ Nike Nike-3


Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 599/256 kg. Thrust 195.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 195 seconds. The average sea level thrust of the Nike rocket motor was 190.3 kN. The interstage adapter was bolted to the front of the Nike and consisted of a conical shaped adapter which slip-fit into the second stage nozzle, thus providing for drag separation at Nike burnout. Each Nike fin was 0.45 square meters in area. Normally, the fins were canted to provide a two revolutions per second spin rate at Nike burnout.

Total Impulse: 652 kNs.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 599 kg (1,320 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 256 kg (564 lb).
Height: 3.60 m (11.80 ft).
Diameter: 0.42 m (1.37 ft).
Thrust: 195.60 kN (43,973 lbf).
Specific impulse: 195 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 195 s.
Burn time: 3.40 s.
Number: 3196 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • M5E1 Hercules solid rocket engine. 195.6 kN. Nike booster motor. The interstage adapter was bolted to the front of the Nike in sounding rocket applications and lip-fit into the second stage nozzle. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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...
  • Nike Deacon American test vehicle. Two-stage rocket using surplus Nike boosters and Deacon sounding rocket upper stage. The combination was much cheaper than Aerobee, and unlike Rockoon could be launched from fixed launchers in two and a half hours. It was used for 'falling sphere' air density studies, atmospheric soundings, and for heat transfer studies launched from NACA Wallops Island. More...
  • Nike Nike HPAG American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Nike + 1 x HPAG More...
  • Nike Nike T40 American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Nike + 1 x T-40 More...
  • Nike Ajax American surface-to-air missile. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Ajax More...
  • HJ Nike American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike More...
  • HJ Nike T40 T55 American test vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x T-40 + 1 x T-55 More...
  • Nike Nike American sounding rocket. 2-4 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Nike + upper stages. More...
  • HJ Nike T40 American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x T-40 More...
  • Nike Cajun American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle sounding rocket consisting of a Nike booster together with a Cajun upper stage. Aside from the Soviet MMR-06, the Nike-Cajun was the most often launched sounding rocket. The Cajun motor was developed for NASA in the 1950's by Thiokol, providing a more modern but still affordable replacement for the World War II-era Deacon. More...
  • Nike T40 T55 American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x T-40 + 1 x T-55 More...
  • Nike Recruit American test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Recruit More...
  • Nike Asp American sounding rocket. Rail-launched vehicle consisting of an Asp plus a Nike booster. This product of the Cooper Development Corporation was designed to lift 27 kg to 260 km. An improved version, the Aspan 300, was also developed.The Nike-Asp was sometimes ship-launched. More...
  • HJ Nike Nike American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Nike More...
  • Nike Apache American sounding rocket. The most popular sounding rocket introduced during the early 1960's was this two-stage, solid-propellant vehicle consisting of a Nike booster and Apache upper stage. More...
  • Exos American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Recruit 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...
  • Trailblazer 1 American test vehicle. The rocket's first three stages would take the upper stage package to a 260 km apogee. The upper stage package was mounted upside-down in relation to the other stages. When it had reached the peak, the three upper stages fired in sequence, ramming the payload, a 13 cm sphere, into the atmosphere at orbital re-entry speeds. 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...
  • 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...
  • Strongarm 1 American test vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Nike + 1 x Recruit More...
  • Nike Viper I American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Viper I More...
  • HJ Nike Gosling American test vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Gosling More...
  • Astrobee 200 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Genie + 1 x Alcor More...
  • Nike Javelin American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Javelin 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...
  • Nike Iroquois American sounding rocket. Aerojet developed the Nike-Iroquois (also called Niro) to fulfill a US Air Force requirement for a low-cost sounding rocket with roll control and high structural strength. More...
  • Aerobee 350 American sounding rocket. In March 1957 an Aerojet engineer conceived of the 'ultimate Aerobee', with the body diameter increased to 46 cm diameter and powered by four engines. The design found no takers until it was pitched to NASA in 1961 and development was authorised. The final configuration selected used a Nike Ajax missile booster, 56 cm in diameter, followed by the Aerobee 350, equipped with 4 Aerobee 150A engines. The rocket could take 65 kg to 480 km altitude or 455 kg to 240 km altitude. More...
  • HJ Nike Javelin American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Javelin 3 More...
  • HJ Nike Hydac American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Nike Hydac American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Aerobee 170 American sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket consisting of a solid Nike booster paired with an Aerobee 150 liquid-propellant second stage. More...
  • Aerobee 170B American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Aerobee 150 More...
  • Aerobee 170A American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Aerobee 150 More...
  • Aerobee 200A American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x AJ60-92 More...
  • Nike Malemute American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Malemute More...
  • Aerobee 200 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x AJ60-92 More...
  • Nike Hawk American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Hawk More...
  • Nike Orion American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle. Payload 68 kg to 190 km or 204 kg to 90 km. The Nike motor had three equally spaced unmodified Ajax fins, and the Orion motor had four fins on the aft end arranged in a cruciform configuration to provide stability. The first stage Nike booster had an action time of 3.2 seconds. The second stage ignited 9 seconds after liftoff and had an action time of 32 seconds. Capability 68 kg payload to 190 kilometers or a 204 kg payload to 90 kilometers when launched from sea level at an 85 degree launch angle. More...
  • Taurus Tomahawk Nike Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Taurus (Honest John motor) + 1 x Nike + 1 x Tomahawk. Payload 32 kg to 700 km or 125 kg to 400 km. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Propellants
  • Solid Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

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