Encyclopedia Astronautica
Black Brant 4A


Canadian sounding rocket.

Failures: 7. Success Rate: 80.00%. First Fail Date: 1964-06-24. Last Fail Date: 1976-03-10.

AKA: Black Brant IVA.
Status: Retired 1976.
Gross mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb).
Height: 12.00 m (39.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.44 m (1.44 ft).
Apogee: 850 km (520 mi).
First Launch: 1964.06.24.
Last Launch: 1976.03.10.
Number: 37 .

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Natal Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 233 launches from 1965 to 2007, reaching up to 1100 kilometers altitude. More...
  • El Arenosillo Spanish sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 335 launches from 1966 to 1994, reaching up to 700 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • 15KS25000 Solid rocket stage. 111.00 kN (24,954 lbf) thrust. Mass 1,000 kg (2,205 lb). More...
  • 9KS11000 Solid rocket stage. 49.00 kN (11,016 lbf) thrust. Mass 300 kg (661 lb). More...

Black Brant 4A Chronology


1964 June 24 - . 20:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NRC FF-4-01.
  • - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 467 km (290 mi).

1964 June 24 - . 20:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA FF-4-01. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1964 July 2 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA FF-4-02. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1964 July 2 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NRC FF-4-02.
  • - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1965 January 22 - . 21:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA FF-4-03.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 670 km (410 mi).

1965 January 23 - . 18:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA FF-4-04.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 735 km (456 mi).

1966 November 29 - . 06:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAF-4-05.
  • CR / ne probe Plasma / fields mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1966 December 15 - . 15:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAF-4-08.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 871 km (541 mi).

1966 December 15 - . 21:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAF-4-07.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 871 km (541 mi).

1968 April 6 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AKF-4-10.
  • Calgary CR / ionos Ionosphere / chemical release mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 862 km (535 mi).

1968 May 7 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.04II.
  • Isis test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NASA; DRTE. Apogee: 820 km (500 mi).

1968 June 11 - . 23:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.01NE.
  • SAAP Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 790 km (490 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A.
  • DLR N-BB4 Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 17:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 18:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA ALF-IV-12. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1969 January 14 - . 05:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAF-4-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aeronomy / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 99 km (61 mi).

1969 March 6 - . 06:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAD-4-16.
  • Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 791 km (491 mi).

1969 May 1 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AHF-4-14.
  • Electron content Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 760 km (470 mi).

1969 May 7 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AHF-4-15.
  • Electron content Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 820 km (500 mi).

1969 June 15 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.010-01.
  • VLF Propagation Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 582 km (361 mi).

1969 September 6 - . 14:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.010-02.
  • VLF Propagation Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 623 km (387 mi).

1969 September 19 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.05NE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 856 km (531 mi).

1969 December 15 - . 02:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAF-4-20.
  • Auroral particles Aurora / ionosphere mission Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 774 km (480 mi).

1970 February 24 - . 07:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AAD-4-23.
  • VLF / Particles Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi).

1970 March 15 - . 13:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A.
  • DLR A-BB4-28 Eva Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 650 km (400 mi).

1970 March 18 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A.
  • DLR A-BB4-29 Gerda Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 665 km (413 mi).

1970 August 21 - . 01:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.010-03. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Propagation Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 56 km (34 mi).

1970 September 25 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.02NE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1970 September 29 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.03NE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1970 December 7 - . 21:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AKF-4A-19.
  • Twilight airglow Aeronomy / x-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 770 km (470 mi).

1971 February 20 - . 03:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA AKF-4A-18.
  • Auroral emissions Aurora / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 785 km (487 mi).

1971 June 7 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.108-1.
  • VLF Propagation Ionosphere VLF mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1973 October 24 - . 03:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.313-01.
  • VLF Propagation Ionosphere VLF mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 609 km (378 mi).

1973 October 25 - . 03:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA CRL A16.313-02.
  • VLF Propagation Ionosphere VLF mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1973 November 27 - . 15:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.08UA.
  • Skylab Ba+ Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 552 km (342 mi).

1973 December 4 - . 15:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA NASA 19.09UA.
  • Skylab Ba+ Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 570 km (350 mi).

1976 March 10 - . 09:10 GMT - . Launch Site: El Arenosillo. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 4A. LV Configuration: Black Brant IVA Astro 6-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • DLR H-BB4-74 Extreme ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

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