Encyclopedia Astronautica
Black Brant 5A


Canadian sounding rocket.

Failures: 3. Success Rate: 90.32%. First Fail Date: 1966-12-13. Last Fail Date: 1973-11-25.

AKA: Black Brant VA.
Status: Retired 1999.
Gross mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb).
Height: 8.30 m (27.20 ft).
Diameter: 0.44 m (1.44 ft).
Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).
First Launch: 1963.07.20.
Last Launch: 1999.07.14.
Number: 31 .

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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Red Lake Sounding rocket range, known to have been used for 23 launches in 1979, reaching up to 215 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Red Lake CHK Tomahawk Sandia, Nike, Loki, Honest John, Hawk, Black Brant, Arcas launch complex. Chukuni Range More...

Associated Stages
  • 15KS25000 Solid rocket stage. 111.00 kN (24,954 lbf) thrust. Mass 1,000 kg (2,205 lb). More...

Black Brant 5A Chronology


1963 July 20 - . 21:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AB17.199.
  • Operation Probe High Eclipse mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1963 July 26 - . 21:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AC17.61.
  • D region e density Aurora / ionosphere mission Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1964 April 17 - . 00:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AF-VA-35/03.
  • Daytime ne Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 172 km (106 mi).

1966 December 13 - . 08:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AAD-VA-107. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Geminids Aurora / ionosphere / meteorology mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 48 km (29 mi).

1967 September 28 - . 16:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AFF-VA-119.
  • Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1967 October 5 - . 04:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AFF-VA-120.
  • Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 182 km (113 mi).

1967 December 6 - . 16:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AF17.750D.
  • Particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1968 June 10 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AH17.751D. FAILURE: Failure.
  • D region protons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AG17.757.
  • PCA D-region Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1969 November 2 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AJ17.602.
  • Polar Cap U-2 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1969 November 3 - . 06:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AJ17.758.
  • Polar Cap U-1 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1969 November 3 - . 13:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AJ17.616.
  • Polar Cap U-5 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi).

1969 November 3 - . 17:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL A17.906-1.
  • Polar Ionosphere Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1969 November 3 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AJ17.611.
  • Polar Cap U-3 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 82 km (50 mi).

1969 November 4 - . 23:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL AJ17.617.
  • Polar Cap U-6 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1970 February 2 - . 23:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA A-BBVA-23.
  • DLR A-BBV-23 Synove Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1970 February 14 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA A-BBVA-24.
  • DLR A-BBV-24 Monica Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1970 February 14 - . 05:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA A-BBVA-25.
  • DLR A-BBV-25 Evelyn Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 223 km (138 mi).

1970 March 6 - . 02:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA A-BBVA-27.
  • DLR A-BBV-27 Chr'ine Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi).

1970 March 8 - . 02:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A.
  • DLR A-BBV-26 Inger Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1972 March 16 - . 10:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL A17.110-3.
  • ICECAP 72 Plasma / infrared aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1972 September 24 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL A17.110-2.
  • Auroral D / E region Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1972 September 25 - . 19:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA CRL A17.110-1.
  • Auroral D / E region Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1972 October 11 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA NRL NF9.250.
  • Auroral infrared Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1973 November 25 - . 22:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AMF-VA-40. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1977 January 13 - . 04:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AAD-VA-45.
  • Auroral UV / infrared Aurora / ionosphere mission Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1978 April 12 - . 01:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA ADD-VA-49.
  • O / Ozone profile Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1979 February 26 - . Launch Site: Red Lake. Launch Complex: Red Lake CHK. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA AMF-VA-51.
  • Eclipse mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

1979 December 17 - . 06:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA ADD-VA-48.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1999 July 5 - . 23:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA NASA 21.123GE.
  • MD-DR-04 DROPPS-1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1999 July 14 - . 03:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 5A. LV Configuration: Black Brant VA NASA 21.124GE.
  • MD-DR-13 DROPPS-2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

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