Encyclopedia Astronautica
Astrobee D


American sounding rocket. Single stage vehicle.

Failures: 2. Success Rate: 95.83%. First Fail Date: 1972-12-06. Last Fail Date: 1974-04-11.

Gross mass: 100 kg (220 lb).
Height: 3.90 m (12.70 ft).
Diameter: 0.15 m (0.49 ft).
Thrust: 23.00 kN (5,170 lbf).
Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).
First Launch: 1970.06.08.
Last Launch: 1980.02.16.
Number: 48 .

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...
  • 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...
  • Poker Flat Sounding rocket launch site. In use from 1969 to present. Poker Flat Rocket Range (PFRR) contains five major launch pads. Pads 1 and 2 each have a 7.5K launcher, pads 3 and 4 each contain 20K MRL launchers, and pad 5 contains a 4K twin boom launcher. Pad 3 is equipped with a moveable launcher enclosure which can be used to protect a rocket on pad 3 and workers from the severe winter weather. 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...
  • San Marco In 1962 NASA signed an agreement with the Centro Ricerche Aerospaziali at the University of Rome creating the San Marco program. The purpose of the program was to place an Italian satellite in orbit and to create an Italian equatorial launch site for the Scout rocket. Permission was obtained from Kenya to emplace two modified oil platforms off their coast, on the equator. The Santa Rita platform would serve as a launch control center and would also be used for launch of sounding rockets. The San Marco platform would be dedicated to launch of Scout rockets to orbit. More...
  • Red Lake Sounding rocket range, known to have been used for 23 launches in 1979, reaching up to 215 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages

Astrobee D Chronology


1970 June 8 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Test 2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1970 June 8 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Test 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1971 January 19 - . 19:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1971 January 21 - . 18:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1971 January 21 - . 19:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-3 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1971 January 21 - . 19:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-4 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

1971 January 21 - . 20:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-5 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

1971 January 21 - . 21:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D Robin.
  • AFCRL 71-6 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1972 January 28 - . 21:08 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.116-1.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1972 January 29 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.116-2.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1972 March 6 - . 12:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-3.
  • Infrared emission Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 86 km (53 mi).

1972 March 9 - . 10:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-4.
  • Infrared emission Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1972 December 6 - . 06:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Auroral Quiet infrared Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 27 km (16 mi).

1972 December 9 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-2.
  • Auroral Quiet infrared Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1973 March 21 - . 10:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-5.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1973 April 6 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-6.
  • Enhanced OH Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1973 June 30 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.01GT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 93 km (57 mi).

1973 October 3 - . 01:40 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-1.
  • Infrared Radiometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 53 km (32 mi).

1973 October 3 - . 02:27 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-2.
  • Infrared Radiometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1973 October 3 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-3.
  • Infrared Radiometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 102 km (63 mi).

1974 February 8 - . 04:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-4.
  • Tracking test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 91 km (56 mi).

1974 April 11 - . 23:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.413-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 83 km (51 mi).

1974 April 12 - . 23:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.413-2.
  • VLF Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1974 October 10 - . 16:37 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.05UE.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1975 February 26 - . 22:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.413-3.
  • Gerdian Condenser Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 104 km (64 mi).

1975 March 1 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-6.
  • Infrared / OH Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 111 km (68 mi).

1975 July 15 - . 15:03 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.02UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1975 December 2 - . 12:57 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-8.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1975 December 2 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-5.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 124 km (77 mi).

1975 December 2 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.311-7.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1975 December 3 - . 00:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.413-5.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1975 December 3 - . 00:59 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.205-7.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1975 December 3 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D CRL A30.413-4.
  • Twilight D-Region Aeronomy / technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1976 January 18 - . 19:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.03UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1976 January 23 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.04UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1976 May 13 - . 02:51 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.06UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1976 August 11 - . 15:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.07UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1977 January 8 - . 19:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.08UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 83 km (51 mi).

1979 February 20 - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.11UU.
  • Nitric Oxide Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1979 February 26 - . 16:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Red Lake. Launch Complex: Red Lake MCM. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.09UE.
  • Plasma / eclipse mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1979 February 27 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Red Lake. Launch Complex: Red Lake MCM. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.10UE.
  • Plasma / eclipse mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1979 June 7 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.12UU.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1979 September 16 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.16UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1979 September 20 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.13UU.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1979 October 1 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.14UU.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1979 December 18 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.15UU.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1980 February 16 - . 08:25 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.17UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1980 February 16 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee D. LV Configuration: Astrobee D NASA 23.18UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

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