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Taurus Orion
Part of Hawk Family
American sounding rocket. 2 stage vehicle composed of 1 x Taurus (Honest John motor) + 1 x Orion. Payload 68 kg to 260 km or 227 kg to 140 km.

Status: Active. First Launch: 1977-07-19. Last Launch: 2002-02-21. Number: 66 . Thrust: 457.00 kN (102,737 lbf). Gross mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Height: 11.40 m (37.40 ft). Diameter: 0.58 m (1.90 ft). Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

The Taurus-Orion was a two-stage, unguided, fin stabilized rocket system which utilized a Taurus first stage booster and a surplus Army Orion rocket motor for the second stage propulsion. The Taurus motor had four equally spaced modified Ajax fins, and the Orion motor had four fins on the aft end arranged in a cruciform configuration to provide stability. The standard payload for the Taurus-Orion had a principal diameter of 36 cm and utilized various nose cone fineness ratios. The normal payload length varied from about 1.8 to 3.8 m although this was not the maximum envelope. Payloads from 23 to 36 cm in diameter were also flown on the Taurus-Orion.

Standard hardware included a separable clamshell nose cone and an Orion Standard Ignition System. A clamped interstage was available to provide better stability for vehicle configurations with very long payloads. Separation systems could be provided to separate the payload from the motor during ascent.



Country: USA. Launch Sites: Wallops Island, White Sands, Poker Flat, Fort Churchill, White Sands LC36, Andoya, Kiruna, Arecibo, Sonde Stromfjord, Red Lake, Red Lake CHK, Chilca PLOB. Stages: Orion engine, Taurus engine. Agency: NASA Wallops.

1977 July 19 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 240 km (140 mi).

1977 December 2 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 247 km (153 mi).

1978 March 13 - . 04:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Extreme ultraviolet airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi).

1978 March 13 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Auroral UV Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 186 km (115 mi).

1979 February 26 - . Launch Site: Red Lake. Launch Complex: Red Lake CHK. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1979 February 26 - . Launch Site: Red Lake. Launch Complex: Red Lake CHK. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1979 November 8 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1980 July 28 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi).

1980 August 14 - . 02:02 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 192 km (119 mi).

1980 September 15 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1980 October 8 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1980 November 16 - . 03:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • ENERGY B Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 195 km (121 mi).

1980 November 16 - . 03:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • EBC-B E11a Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1980 November 16 - . 04:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • EBC-B E11b Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1980 November 30 - . 23:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • EBC-A2 E11a Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1981 March 7 - . 08:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • AURORAL E1 Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1981 March 7 - . 08:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Auroral E3 Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 203 km (126 mi).

1981 March 7 - . 08:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • AURORAL E2 Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1981 April 2 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1981 April 3 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1981 August 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1981 August 25 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1981 November 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1982 February 26 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1982 May 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1982 June 29 - . 11:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • TRACER Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 147 km (91 mi).

1982 August 11 - . 00:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1982 November 24 - . 13:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 January 12 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 January 22 - . 13:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 February 12 - . 07:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 March 3 - . 03:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Chilca. Launch Complex: Chilca PLOB. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Project Condor Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 March 12 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Chilca. Launch Complex: Chilca PLOB. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Project Condor Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 June 21 - . 20:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 July 15 - . 08:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 July 20 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1983 July 25 - . 14:47 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1984 January 16 - . 18:20 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1984 February 28 - . 17:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1984 April 2 - . 07:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1984 August 7 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1984 October 22 - . 06:27 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ultraviolet Nightglow Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1984 October 24 - . 02:19 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • MINI (Metal Ions) Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1985 February 8 - . 18:14 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1985 March 5 - . 20:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonde Stromfjord. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1985 September 10 - . 00:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1986 March 7 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1986 November 4 - . 20:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aureld-VIP-HIGH Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SSC. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi).

1986 December 12 - . 21:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aureld-VIP-LOW Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SSC. Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

1987 February 17 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • UM Airglow payload Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1987 July 15 - . 01:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1987 July 27 - . 06:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1988 October 20 - . 20:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1989 March 7 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1990 May 13 - . 21:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1990 May 14 - . 20:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1993 October 4 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1994 June 27 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1995 June 6 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1998 February 25 - . 07:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1999 January 22 - . 15:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1999 July 5 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1999 July 18 - . 03:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2002 February 21 - . 09:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2002 February 21 - . 09:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2002 February 21 - . 10:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Taurus Orion.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).


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