Encyclopedia Astronautica
Aerobee 170A


American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Aerobee 150

Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1977-05-20. Last Fail Date: 1977-05-20.

Gross mass: 1,270 kg (2,790 lb).
Height: 12.40 m (40.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.42 m (1.37 ft).
Thrust: 217.00 kN (48,783 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1971.08.10.
Last Launch: 1978.11.16.
Number: 26 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
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...
  • 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 150-2 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700/133 kg. Thrust 17.80 kN. More...
  • 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. More...

Aerobee 170A Chronology


1971 August 10 - . 05:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.08GG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1971 October 19 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.113GT.
  • MSFC RR-2 Microgravity mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1971 October 23 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.63UG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1972 May 12 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.19DG.
  • NRL NB4.255 Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL; NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1972 May 19 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.09GG.
  • X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1972 June 9 - . 05:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.59GG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.28CS.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1972 September 1 - . 04:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.47UL.
  • JHU UVT F7 Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1972 December 11 - . 21:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.96UA.
  • JHU Airglow 12 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi).

1973 March 24 - . 03:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.64UG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1973 March 30 - . 10:43 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.40UG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 184 km (114 mi).

1973 June 2 - . 16:51 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.97CS.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1973 October 4 - . 03:40 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.10GG.
  • GSFC XRPC X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1974 November 16 - . 09:49 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.92DG.
  • Ae 170A-HE Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1974 November 16 - . 10:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.34UG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi).

1975 April 10 - . 04:40 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.88GG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 176 km (109 mi).

1975 October 29 - . 02:39 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.48GG.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 186 km (115 mi).

1976 March 22 - . 06:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.116UE.
  • Auroral UV / particles Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 182 km (113 mi).

1976 July 13 - . 17:48 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. Launch Pad: LC35 L21A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 12.32GT.
  • Aerobee Reuse test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 183 km (113 mi). Summary: Aerobee Reuse Test mission..

1976 July 26 - . 15:59 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 12.33GT.
  • Aerobee Reuse test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi). Summary: Aerobee Reuse Test mission..

1976 September 16 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.134CS.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 177 km (109 mi).

1977 January 15 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.122UH.
  • Wisconsin Soft X-ray Survey X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 196 km (121 mi).

1977 May 20 - . 23:09 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.131DA. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 23 km (14 mi).

1978 May 6 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.137UH.
  • X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1978 November 3 - . 01:20 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.135UE.
  • UM Airglow payload Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 151 km (93 mi).

1978 November 16 - . 18:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170A. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170A NASA 13.138GS.
  • Solar Constant 2 Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 182 km (113 mi).

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