Launch Schedule and Information

Marilia Samara's Mission - 24 Jan 2014

Date Flight Number Night / Day Vehicle Agency Experimenter Experiment
24 Jan 2014 36.287 Night Black Brandt IX SWRI Samara TBD
Zone* Pad Recovery Required? Launched? Date Launched
TBD 3 Yes Yes 3 March 2014, 11:09:50 UTC

Launch Information

Information
January Window times are from 8 PM - 2 AM AST;
February Window times are from 11 PM - 5 AM AST;
  • * Dates, Zones and Pad assignments are for planning purposes only and are subject to change without notice up to 30 days prior to launch.

Past Launches 1969-present

Launch Information

GREECE 36.287 Samara Mission - Launch Season 2014

Here is a detailed log of the GREECE 36.287 Samara Mission.

VISIONS 49.001 Rowland Mission - Launch Season 2013

Here is a detailed log of the VISIONS 49.001 Rowland Mission.

MICA 36.273 Powell Mission - Launch Season 2012

Here is a detailed log of the MICA 36.273 Powell Mission.

Launch Timing

Most launches have a launch window which may be days or weeks long. The launch(es) may take place at any time during the window, depending on logistical, geophysical, weather, and other considerations. It is rarely possible to predict the exact time at which a given rocket will be launched. Launches are usually at night for auroral studies, but some daytime launches are performed for other types of research.

Mission Numbering

Date Flight Number Night / Day Vehicle Agency Experimenter Experiment
Feb. 18-April 7, 2003 1 N Terrer-Orion 41.034 UE NASA Conde / Univ. of Alaska Plasma Physics
Zone* Pad Recovery Required? Launched? Date Launched
1N, 1S, 2,3 2 No Yes 12:50 AM, March 25, 2003

In the vehicle column of the table above, an alpha-numeric mission code follows the rocket motor(s) designation, eg. "Terrier-Orion 41.034 UE". The first number in the code identifies the the rocket motor(s). In the case of our example above, 41 corresponds to Terrier-Orion. The following table will help you decode motor designations. Hyphenated motor names designates multi-stage rockets with two or more different rocket motors.

Numbering System for Rockets

Numbering System For Rockets
1 - Aerobee 100 11 - Argo D-8 Journeyman 21 - Black Brant VB/C 31 - Nike-Hawk (Orion)
2 - Arcon 12 - Special Vehicles 22 - Black Brant IIIB 32 - Nike-Javelin
3 - Nike-Asp 13 - Aerobee 170 23 - Astrobee D 33 - Taurus-Orion
4 - Aerobee 150/150A 14 - Nike-Apachev 24 - Aries 34 - Taurus-Tomahawk
5 - Iris 15 - Arcas 25 - Astrobee F 35 - Black Brant X
6 - Aerobee 300 16 - Astrobee 1500 26 - Aerobee 200 36 - Black Brant IX
7 - Argo E-5 17 - Aerobee 350 27 - Nike-Black Brant V 37 - Viper-Dart
8 - Argo D-4 Javelin 18 - Nike-Tomahawk 28 - Nike-Malemute 38 - Taurus-Nike-Tomahawk
9 - Skylark 19 - Black Brant IV 29 - Terrier-Malemute 39 - Black Brant XI
10 - Nike-Cajun 20 - Bullpup-Cajun 30 - Hawk (Orion) 40 - Black Brant XII
41 - Terrier-Orion

The second number of our example, i.e. 034 is a sequential flight identification number assignment for the year. The letters UE in our example, identify the agency and discipline responsible for the flight -- a University (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) conducting research in Plasma Physics. The following table will allow you to decode the two letter identifier.

Agency Discipline
A - Government agency other than N or D (below) E - Plasma Physics
C - Industrial corporation G - Galactic Astronomy
D - Department of Defense H - High-energy Astrophysics
G - Goddard Space Flight Center L - Planetary Atmospheres
I - International P - Special Projects
N - NASA Center other than G or W S - Solar Physics
U - College or university T - Test and Support
W - Wallops Flight Facility U - Upper Atmosphere Research

As one would expect, the size of the rocket motor limits the weight and size of the instrument payload sent aloft, the rocket's altitude at apogee, or the duration of flight through a particular region of the thermosphere. Another weight consideration is a parachute recovery system. So as with all things, there is a cost-benefit calculation involved when planning a mission. You wouldn't want to use an Aries motor when an Orion(Hawk) will do the job. The following table gives parameters of typical sounding rocket motors.

Typical Motors used for Sounding Rockets

Small Intermediate Large
Super Arcas
  • Single stage;
  • 2.5-2.75 m long; 37.5 kg without payload;
  • Carries 4-8 kg payload up to 100 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts 5 minutes;
  • Impacts 60-70 km from launch pad.

Orion (Hawk)
  • Single stage;
  • 4.6-5.3 m long; 418 kg without payload;
  • Carries 38 kg payload up to 88 km altitude;
  • Carries 68 kg payload up to 71 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts 5 minutes;
  • Impacts 25-50 km from launch pad.

Black Brant V
  • Single stage;
  • VB version had three fins, VC version had four fins;
  • 9-11 m long; 1265 kg without payload;
  • Carries 180 kg payload up to 290 km altitude;
  • Carries 450 kg payload up to 140 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts 10-15 minutes;
  • Impacts 80-200 km from launch pad.

Nike-Orion
  • Two stage;
  • 8.1-8.8 m long; 1034 kg without payload;
  • Carries 68 kg payload up to 190 km altitude;
  • Carries 204 kg payload up to 60 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts 5-10 minutes;
  • Impacts 30-120 km from launch pad.
Nike-Tomahawk
  • Two stage;
  • 9-10.3 m long; 861 kg without payload;
  • Carries 45 kg payload up to 370 km altitude;
  • Carries 115 kg payload up to 215 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts up to 10 minutes;
  • Impacts 150-300 km from launch pad.

Taurus-Tomahawk
  • Two stage;
  • 9.7-10.1 m long; 1608 kg without payload;
  • Carries 27 kg payload up to 590 km altitude;
  • Carries 59 kg payload up to 490 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts about 10 minutes;
  • Impacts 250-400 km from launch pad.

Taurus-Orion
  • Two stage;
  • 9-11.7 m long; 1789 kg without payload;
  • Carries 68 kg payload up to 260 km altitude;
  • Carries 227 kg payload up to 140 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts about 10 minutes;
  • Impacts 60-150 km from launch pad.

Terrier-Malamute
  • Two stage;
  • 10-12.6 m long; 1472 kg without payload;
  • Carries 90 kg payload up to 650 km altitude;
  • Carries 180 kg payload up to 420 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts about 10 minutes;
  • Impacts 200-300 km from launch pad.
Aries
  • Single stage (largest in use), guided rocket;
  • 7.5-11.4 m long; 5443 kg without payload;
  • Carries 907 kg payload up to 500 km altitude;
  • Carries 1770 kg payload up to 225 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts about 10 minutes.

Nike-Black Brant VB
  • Two stage;
  • Up to 14 m long; 1881 kg without payload;
  • Carries 136 kg payload up to 430 km altitude;
  • Carries 408 kg payload up to 230 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts 6-18 minutes;
  • Impacts 100-300 km from launch pad.

Black Brant IX
  • Two stage;
  • Up to 13.6 m long; 2102 kg without payload;
  • Carries 159 kg payload up to 540 km altitude;
  • Carries 500 kg payload up to 230 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts about 10 minutes;
  • Impacts 50-150 km from launch pad

Taurus-Nike-Tomahawk
  • Three stage;
  • 13-15.3 m long; 2234 kg without payload;
  • Carries 32 kg payload up to 700 km altitude;
  • Carries 125 kg payload up to 400 km altitude;
  • Typical flight lasts up to 15 minutes;
  • Impacts 180-400 km from launch pad

Launch Zones

Below is are our launch zones: (download in PDF)

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