Encyclopedia Astronautica
Aerobee 170B


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

Gross mass: 1,270 kg (2,790 lb).
Height: 12.40 m (40.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.42 m (1.37 ft).
Thrust: 225.00 kN (50,582 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1971.07.09.
Number: 1 .

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...

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 170B Chronology


1971 July 9 - . 19:43 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170B. LV Configuration: Aerobee 170B NASA 12.22GT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 191 km (118 mi).

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