Encyclopedia Astronautica
Black Brant 3


Canadian sounding rocket. Single stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Black Brant IIIA or IIIB.

Payload: 18 kg (39 lb) to a 177 km altitude. Failures: 6. Success Rate: 89.29%. First Fail Date: 1962-06-15. Last Fail Date: 1969-04-12.

AKA: Black Brant III.
Status: Retired 1984.
Gross mass: 286 kg (630 lb).
Payload: 18 kg (39 lb).
Height: 5.50 m (18.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.26 m (0.85 ft).
Thrust: 49.00 kN (11,015 lbf).
Apogee: 177 km (109 mi).
First Launch: 1962.06.15.
Last Launch: 1984.05.11.
Number: 56 .

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Kiruna The sounding rocket launch site at Kiruna was officially opened in September 1966 under the auspices of ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). When ESA was created in 1972 and replaced ESRO, Kiruna came under the management of the Swedish Space Corporation, a state-owned limited liability company under the Swedish Ministry of Industry. The 'Esrange' is located 45 km from the town of Kiruna and has seven permanent pads able to launch the largest sounding rockets, including the Black Brant 9, Skylark 12, and Castor 4B-boosted vehicles. 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...
  • Resolute Bay Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 17 launches from 1966 to 1971, reaching up to 200 kilometers altitude. More...
  • East Quoddy Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 8 launches from 1970 to 1972, reaching up to 156 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • 9KS11000 Solid rocket stage. 49.00 kN (11,016 lbf) thrust. Mass 300 kg (661 lb). More...

Black Brant 3 Chronology


1962 June 15 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 92 km (57 mi).

1962 June 15 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1962 June 19 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-3. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 June 28 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-4. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 13 km (8 mi).

1962 December 13 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-6.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1962 December 13 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-5.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRE. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1963 July 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-7?.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1963 November 7 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-8?.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 116 km (72 mi).

1964 April 21 - . 23:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III FF-3-09.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1965 April 22 - . 05:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AA-3-11.
  • Aurora / ionosphere mission Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 136 km (84 mi).

1965 December 8 - . 13:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III NC7.179.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1966 February 21 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III NC7.181.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1966 February 21 - . 19:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III NC7.180.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi).

1966 February 21 - . 20:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III NC7.178.
  • O2 density Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 196 km (121 mi).

1966 July 19 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-16.
  • Ionosphere / solar x-rays mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1966 July 21 - . 03:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-15.
  • Ionosphere / chemical release mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1966 August 26 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3-13.
  • Test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi).

1966 November 29 - . 06:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3-12.
  • Plasma / fields mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi).

1966 December 12 - . 19:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ALF-3-18.
  • Neutral density Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1967 July 4 - . 23:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ALF-3-19.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

1967 July 5 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ALF-3-20.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 151 km (93 mi).

1967 July 12 - . 00:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-24.
  • O2 profile Airglow infrared mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 95 km (59 mi).

1967 July 12 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-25.
  • O2 profile Airglow infrared mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 95 km (59 mi).

1967 October 20 - . 10:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-26.
  • Ionosphere / x-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1967 October 22 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-27.
  • Ionosphere/Solar X-ray/X-ray Astronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1968 October 8 - . 05:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-40.
  • X-ray astronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 October 9 - . 03:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AKF-3-39.
  • Ionosphere / chemical release / solar x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 October 31 - . 20:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-31.
  • PCA Ionos Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 November 1 - . 03:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-33.
  • PCA Ionos Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 01:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III K-BB/III-14.
  • DLR K-BB3-14 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 04:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-32. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 21:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III K-BB/III-16.
  • DLR K-BB3-16 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 19:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ALF-3-17.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III K-BB/III-15.
  • DLR K-BB3-15 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1969 March 29 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-37.
  • O2 infrared profile Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 108 km (67 mi).

1969 March 29 - . 11:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-38.
  • O2 infrared profile Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi).

1969 April 12 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADF-3-29. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 26 km (16 mi).

1969 December 3 - . 18:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AMF-3-47.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1969 December 3 - . 23:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AMF-3-46.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 17:40 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3A-42.
  • Eclipse solar ultraviolet and x-rays mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 18:55 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3A-43.
  • Eclipse solar ultraviolet and x-rays mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 18:57 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3A-44.
  • Eclipse solar ultraviolet and x-rays mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1970 March 7 - . 19:03 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AAF-3A-45.
  • Eclipse solar ultraviolet and x-rays mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1971 February 28 - . 07:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AND-3-41.
  • Microwave background Submillimeter radio astronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1971 September 5 - . 13:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III NASA 22.02UE.
  • Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1972 February 8 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-54.
  • Infrared airglow profile Aeronomy / ionosphere / infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 121 km (75 mi).

1972 March 21 - . 08:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III AMF-3A-52.
  • Oxygen recombination Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-55.
  • Aeronomy / Solar Eclipse mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 19:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-56.
  • Aeronomy / Solar Eclipse mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 115 km (71 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 19:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-57.
  • Aeronomy / Solar Eclipse mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 20:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-58.
  • Aeronomy / Solar Eclipse mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 20:29 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-59.
  • Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 21:32 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-60.
  • Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 148 km (91 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 21:39 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-61.
  • Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1972 July 10 - . 21:41 GMT - . Launch Site: East Quoddy. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ADD-3A-62.
  • Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1984 May 11 - . 11:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 3. LV Configuration: Black Brant III ARS-3A-69.
  • SMERF 1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

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