Encyclopedia Astronautica
Astrobee 1500



astb1500.jpg
Astrobee 1500
American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 2 x Recruit + 1 x Aerojet Jr + 1 x Alcor

From NASA SOUNDING ROCKETS, 1958-1968 - A Historical Summary, NASA SP-4401, 1971, by William R. Corliss

The Astrobee 1500 was first used by NASA in 1962. It was intended to be a replacement for the large Argo D-8 Journeyman rocket, which NASA used for big payloads and high altitudes. A replacement was necessary because the Journeyman first stage, the Sergeant motor, was becoming increasingly hard to get. Built by Aerojet, the Astrobee 1500 consisted of an Aerojet 100 (Aerojet Junior) first stage augmented by two Thiokol Recruits, plus an Alcor second stage. Like the Journeyman, the Astrobee 1500 has been used only sparingly in NASA's programs, it being unnecessarily big and expensive for most purposes.

Failures: 3. First Fail Date: 1961-08-01. Last Fail Date: 1963-04-08.

Gross mass: 5,200 kg (11,400 lb).
Height: 10.40 m (34.10 ft).
Diameter: 0.79 m (2.59 ft).
Thrust: 566.00 kN (127,241 lbf).
Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).
First Launch: 1961.03.08.
Last Launch: 1969.10.15.
Number: 10 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Astrobee Aerojet-designed family of sounding rockets conceived as a lower-cost replacement of the liquid-propellant Aerobee. More...

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

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Eglin This US Air Force proving ground and missile test range, based in Valparaiso, Florida and extending over a vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico, was founded in 1935, In early 1946 the First Experimental Guided Missiles Group was activated at Eglin. The highly-instrumented Eglin Gulf Test Range supported flight tests of Bomarc, Matador, Quail, and Hound Dog cruise missiles. Both the military and NASA used Eglin to support launch of sounding rockets in support of their programs. Eglin was known to have been used for 441 launches from 1959 to 1980, reaching up to 686 kilometers altitude. The actual number of missile tests was many times greater. More...
  • Vandenberg LC-B Viper, Terrier, Hopi, Deacon, Cajun, Astrobee launch complex. Launch Complex B, Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello More...
  • Vandenberg LC-A Scout, Javelin, Honest John, Black Brant, Astrobee, Asp, Seagull, Journeyman, Dac Roc launch complex. Launch Complex A, Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello More...

Associated Stages
  • Alcor Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 520/50 kg. Thrust 35.59 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 230 seconds. Masses, specific impulse estimated. More...

Astrobee 1500 Chronology


1961 March 8 - . 17:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 AE16.305.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 431 km (267 mi).

1961 August 1 - . 20:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 AA16.304. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test / geodetic mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1961 December 8 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500.
  • Project CAMBRIDGE Geodetic mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 2,190 km (1,360 mi).

1962 July 9 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-B. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1963 April 8 - . 11:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.01GT. FAILURE: Failure.
1964 October 21 - . 19:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.02GT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,950 km (1,210 mi).

1967 February 25 - . 02:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A?. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.05US.
  • Solar radio frequencies mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 2,380 km (1,470 mi).

1967 August 30 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A?. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.03GR.
  • Radio astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,500 km (900 mi).

1968 April 20 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A?. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.04UI.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,250 km (770 mi).

1969 October 15 - . 22:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A?. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. LV Configuration: Astrobee 1500 NASA 16.06GR.
  • RAE-B Test Radio astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 2,575 km (1,600 mi).

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