Encyclopedia Astronautica
Aerobee Hi


American sounding rocket. Aerobee Hi was a development of the basic Aerobee with longer propellant tanks, improved materials, a better propellant fraction, and smaller fins. 9.3 m l x 0.39 m dia. The booster stage fired for 2.5 seconds and took the rocket to 270 m altitude and 820 kph. The upper stage then fired for 25 seconds, burning out at 40 km altitude travelling at 6400 kph. Thereafter the payload would coast up to 270 km altitude before falling back toward earth.

Payload: 68 kg (149 lb) to a 270 km altitude. Failures: 9. Success Rate: 79.07%. First Fail Date: 1955-06-23. Last Fail Date: 1957-07-05.

Gross mass: 930 kg (2,050 lb).
Payload: 68 kg (149 lb).
Height: 9.50 m (31.10 ft).
Diameter: 0.38 m (1.24 ft).
Thrust: 18.00 kN (4,046 lbf).
Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).
First Launch: 1955.04.21.
Last Launch: 1960.04.19.
Number: 43 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • 45AL-2600 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Aerobee B. Launch thrust 11.7 kN. Development begun June 1948. Manufacture of complete Aerobee systems First flight 1955. More...

See also
  • Aerobee 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. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • White Sands White Sands Missile Range occupies an area 160 x 65 km in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, across the Sacramento Mountain range from Roswell. In the 1930's, Robert Goddard, after surveying weather conditions and population densities, had selected Roswell for his pioneering rocket tests. White Sands, a true desert area, was even more unpopulated than Roswell. German advances in rocketry during World War II impelled the US Army to begin programs to exploit this technology. The White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long-range rockets on 9 July 1945. Seven days later the first atomic bomb was exploded at Trinity Site, near the north boundary of the range. The first launch of a Tiny Tim rocket was on 26 September 1945. On 11 October a Tiny Tim boosted a WAC Corporal rocket from the tower. This was the first use of Launch Complex 33, later to be used for V-2, Nike, Viking, Corporal, Lance and Multiple Launch Rocket System testing. More...
  • Holloman Military missile and sounding rocket launch site. Also notable for several rocket-powered sleds, used to test a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft and aerospace vehicles at supersonic speeds. Known to have been used for 147 major launches from 1948 to 1959, reaching up to 235 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Fort Churchill Fort Churchill is an Arctic site on Hudson Bay with a rail link. It is near the point of maximum auroral activity. This combination of circumstances made it ideal for far-north sounding rocket launches. In 1954, the Canadian Army conducted the first series of rocket firings at Fort Churchill. Following a period of inactivity, construction of more elaborate facilities in support of the International Geophysical Year began in 1956. IGY firings began in July 1957. The range was closed again in December 1958 after the IGY program ended. It was reopened again in August 1959 by the US Army as part of its network of sounding rocket stations. This allowed use of the site by other groups over the years. More...
  • White Sands LC35 Standard-ER, Black Brant, Aerobee launch complex. Work on LC-35 was begun by the US Navy in 1946. Although no specific requirement had been identified, Captain Robert McLaughlin of the Bureau of Naval Ordnance realized the Navy would need an instrumented range to test the surface-to-air missiles planned for Navy ships. The first facilities built were a blockhouse and two launch towers for Aerobee sounding rockets. From 1947 a total of 675 Aerobees were launched from White Sands, most of these from LC-35. More...

Associated Stages
  • Aerobee 300A-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 272/153 kg. Thrust 80.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 167 seconds. Typical ideal dV=259 m/s; gravity and drag losses = 25 m/s. More...
  • Aerobee 150-2 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700/133 kg. Thrust 17.80 kN. More...

Aerobee Hi Chronology


1955 April 21 - . 15:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 55.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 198 km (123 mi). Summary: First launcing of USAF Aerobee-Hi sounding rocket. Rocket test, 98 kg payload. Launched at 0858 local time. Reached 198 km..

1955 June 23 - . 12:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 57. FAILURE: Failure.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 64 km (39 mi). Summary: Rocket test, 90 kg payload. Burnt-out thrust chamber. Launched at 0540 local time. Reached 64 km..

1955 August 25 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 37. FAILURE: Failure.
  • XRV-N-13 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 4.00 km (2.40 mi). Summary: Rocket performance test. Launched at 0600 local time. Reached 4 km..

1955 December 9 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 38. FAILURE: Failure.
  • XRV-N-13 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Rocket performance test. Launched at 0750 local time..

1956 May 1 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 39. FAILURE: Failure.
  • RV-N-13a test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 4.00 km (2.40 mi). Summary: Rocket performance test. Launched at 1505 local time. Reached 4 km..

1956 May 8 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 42. FAILURE: Failure.
  • RV-N-13a test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi). Summary: Solar radiation research. Launched at 0754 local time. Reached 143.3 km..

1956 May 16 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 66. FAILURE: Failure.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi). Summary: Rocket test, 86 kg payload. Insufficient fin-cuff protection caused aerodynamic instability. Launched at 0840 local time. Reached 169 km..

1956 June 4 - . 14:13 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 46. FAILURE: Failure.
  • RV-N-13a test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 58 km (36 mi). Summary: Sunfollower spectrograph. Launched at 0713 local time. Reached 58 km..

1956 June 29 - . 19:09 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 50 (RV-N-13b).
  • RV-N-13b Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 264 km (164 mi). Summary: Ionosphere research. Launched at 1200 local time. Reached 261 km..

1956 November 5 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 45 (RV-N-13b). FAILURE: Failure..
  • NRL NN3.02 Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Aurora, magnetic field research. Also known as IGY NN3.02. Launched at 1301 local time. Altitude not reported; possible failure..

1956 November 15 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 47 (RV-N-13b).
  • NRL NN3.07F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi). Summary: Ionosphere research. Also known as IGY NN3.09. Launched at 1332 local time. Reached 119 km..

1956 November 17 - . 16:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 43 (RV-N-13b).
  • NRL NN3.12 Aeronomy / chemical / solar lyra-alpha spectrometry / x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 209 km (129 mi). Summary: Atmospheric structure research. Also known as IGY NN3.12. Launched at 1048 local time. Reached 195 km..

1956 November 21 - . 05:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 48 (RV-N-13c).
  • NRL NN3.17 Ionosphere / aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi). Summary: Air and ion composition research. Also known as IGY NN3.17. Launched at 2321 local time. Reached 255 km..

1956 December 13 - . 21:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 75.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 193 km (119 mi). Summary: Rocket test, 80 kg payload payload. Launched at 1444 local time. Reached 193 km..

1957 April 11 - . 16:31 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 40 (RV-N-13c).
  • Vanguard test Satellite test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Summary: Vanguard test. Rocket performance, satellite instrumentation test. Launched at 0931 local time. Reached 204 km..

1957 April 30 - . 15:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 41 (RV-N-13c).
  • RV-N-13c test / meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 289 km (179 mi). Summary: Rocket performance flight test. Launched at 0810 local time. Reached 289 km..

1957 May 3 - . 14:04 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NRL 44 (RV-N-13c).
  • Sunfollower / UVS Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Summary: Sunfollower spectrograph. Launched at 0704 local time. Reached 204 km..

1957 June 18 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 78.
  • AU4.26 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi). Summary: Ionosphere research. Launched at 0700 local time. Reached 171 km..

1957 June 25 - . 14:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi USAF 79.
  • AU4.27 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi). Summary: Ionosphere research. Launched at 0707 local time. Reached 202 km..

1957 July 4 - . 17:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.08F.
  • NRL NN3.08F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi).

1957 July 5 - . 05:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.09F. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN3.09F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 16 km (9 mi).

1957 July 29 - . 21:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.13F.
  • NRL NN3.13F Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1957 September 1 - . 22:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi AM4.001.
  • Ion probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1958 January 26 - . 04:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.03F.
  • NRL NN3.03F Aeronomy/Plasma/Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1958 February 3 - . 18:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.10F.
  • NRL NN3.10F Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1958 February 4 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.11F.
  • NRL NN3.11F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 234 km (145 mi).

1958 February 22 - . 02:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.18F.
  • NRL NN3.18F Ionosphere / aurora / x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1958 February 24 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.14F.
  • NRL NN3.14F Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 207 km (128 mi).

1958 March 16 - . 04:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.04.
  • NRL NN3.04 Aeronomy/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1958 March 22 - . 06:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.05.
  • Aeronomy/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1958 March 23 - . 18:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.19F.
  • Neutral gas Aurora / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1958 June 4 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet Spectrum Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 October 15 - . 01:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi AM4.012.
  • Vehicle test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1958 October 31 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.15F.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi).

1958 November 3 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.20F.
  • Composition Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1958 November 16 - . 06:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.06F.
  • Auroral/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 163 km (101 mi).

1958 November 24 - . 06:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.21F.
  • Electron density Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 207 km (128 mi).

1958 November 29 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.16F.
  • Auroral / Ultraviolet Phot Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1959 March 12 - . 15:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1959 March 13 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.24F.
  • Solar ultraviolet / solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1959 July 21 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.23F.
  • Solar ultraviolet / x-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 197 km (122 mi).

1960 February 27 - . 06:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi AA4.360C.
  • JHU Aurora 1 Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1960 April 19 - . 14:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. LV Configuration: Aerobee Hi NN3.60.
  • NN3.60 Pinhole camera Solar ultraviolet / solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 222 km (137 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use