Encyclopedia Astronautica
Black Brant 12


Canadian sounding rocket. The Black Brant XII rocket system was a four stage system used primarily to carry a variety of payloads to high altitudes. Its development is a spin-off of the Black Brant X development. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x Taurus + 1 x Black Brant VB + 1 x Nihka. Payload 136 kg to 1,500 km or 522 kg to 500 km.

Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1993-01-27. Last Fail Date: 2005-03-06.

AKA: Black Brant XII.
Status: Active.
Gross mass: 5,300 kg (11,600 lb).
Height: 17.00 m (55.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.76 m (2.49 ft).
Apogee: 1,500 km (900 mi).
First Launch: 1988.09.30.
Last Launch: 2010.12.12.
Number: 27 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Black Brant The Black Brant originated in a 1957 Canadian government requirement for a sounding rocket to characterize the ionosphere in order to improve military communications. Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg, Manitoba was selected to design the rocket, while the Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment (CARDE) was responsible for the propellant and filling. The lighter production version of the vehicle was renamed Black Brant. Later versions of Black Brant used a variety of booster and upper stages to supplement the original single-stage vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bristol Canadian manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Bristol Aerospace Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 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...
  • 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...
  • Andoya Andoya Rocket Range (ARR) is the world's northernmost permanent launch facility for sounding rockets and scientific balloons and is responsible for all scientific-related balloon and rocket operations in Norwegian territory. ARR provides complete services for launch, operations, data acquisition, recovery and ground instrumentation support. The range has conducted more than 650 rocket launches and hosted scientists and engineers from more than 70 institutes and universities. More...

Associated Stages
  • 17KS12000 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 399/70 kg. Thrust 50.50 kN. The Nihka rocket motor was developed specifically for the Black Brant X rocket system by Bristol Aerospace. More...
  • 26KS20000 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,264/268 kg. Thrust 75.70 kN. Four-finned version. More...
  • Talos-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 1,500 kg. Thrust 516.00 kN. The Talos motor was fitted with a conical adapter for mating to the second stage. Differential drag forces caused separation. Four fins were arranged at the aft end in a cruciform configuration and drove the vehicle to approximately one revolution per second burnout roll rate. More...

Black Brant 12 Chronology


1988 September 30 - . 18:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 12.41WT.
  • BEARS Test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 950 km (590 mi).

1989 December 5 - . 19:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 12.42WT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,459 km (906 mi).

1990 March 22 - . 07:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.02UE.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1991 February 12 - . 09:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.01UE.
  • TOPAZ 3 Active plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1993 January 27 - . 10:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.03UE. FAILURE: Failure.
  • PHAZE Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1993 April 2 - . 10:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.04UE.
  • UCB Alaska '93 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,425 km (885 mi).

1994 March 6 - . 08:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.05UE.
  • Auroral Turbulence 1 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 455 km (282 mi).

1995 January 25 - . 06:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. Launch Complex: Andoya U3. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.06IE.
  • SCIFER Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,453 km (902 mi).

1995 February 24 - . 10:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.07UE.
  • AMICIST Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

1995 November 7 - . 06:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.09IE.
  • OEDIPUS C Ionosphere / tether mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CSA; NASA. Apogee: 824 km (512 mi).

1997 February 10 - . 05:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.10UE.
  • PHAZE 2 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 945 km (587 mi).

1997 February 11 - . 08:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.11UE.
  • Auroral Turbulence 2 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 546 km (339 mi).

1999 January 21 - . 06:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.12IE.
  • CAPER Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,360 km (840 mi).

1999 January 22 - . 13:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.13DP.
  • North Star (APEX) Active plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 364 km (226 mi).

2000 February 25 - . 07:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC3. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.08UE.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,170 km (720 mi).

2000 February 26 - . 09:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC4. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.15IE.
  • GEODESIC Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CSA. Apogee: 990 km (610 mi).

2002 January 14 - . 08:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC4. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.14UE.
  • SIERRA Ionosphere / aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 735 km (456 mi).

2002 February 6 - . 09:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.16UE.
  • RACE Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 922 km (572 mi).

2005 March 6 - . 10:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC4. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.17UE. FAILURE: Black Brant sustainer stage did not ignite..
  • CASCADES auroral research experiment - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 29 km (18 mi). Summary: Planned apogee 800 km..

2007 February 12 - . 12:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.020UE.
  • ROPA Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 748 km (464 mi).

2007 February 28 - . 08:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.019UE.
  • CHARM Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

2007 December 10 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. Launch Complex: Andoya U3. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.018UE.
  • TRICE High Plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,150 km (710 mi).

2007 December 10 - . 09:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. Launch Complex: Andoya Athena. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.022UE.
  • TRICE Low Plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 675 km (419 mi).

2008 January 18 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12. LV Configuration: Black Brant XII NASA 40.021UE.
  • SCIFER-2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,460 km (900 mi).

2009 March 20 - . 11:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12.
  • NASA 40.023UE - . Nation: USA. Agency: Clemson. Apogee: 560 km (340 mi). Summary: Aurora.

2010 February 16 - . 09:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12.
  • NASA 40.025UE - . Nation: USA. Agency: Clemson. Apogee: 803 km (498 mi). Summary: Auroral payload.

2010 December 12 - . 06:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 12.
  • NASA 40.026UE - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Summary: Aurora payload..

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