Encyclopedia Astronautica

American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Castor + 1 x Recruit

Diameter: 0.79 m (2.59 ft).
Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).
First Launch: 1962.10.20.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Sergeant Single-stage solid-propulsion tactical ballistic missile developed for the US Army. Surplus rockets and the Sergeant's rocket motor (known commercially as Castor) became the basis for many sounding rockets. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Johnston Island US military base on this island in the Pacific Ocean. Used for rocket-launched nuclear tests in the 1950's. In the 1960's it was the site for the operational AFP-437 anti-satellite system. The system was retired in 1975. Several sounding rockets were also launched over the years, either in support of nuclear tests or in experiments related to anti-satellite technology. Known to have been used for 124 launches from 1958 to 1975, reaching up to 1158 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • Castor 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,852/535 kg. Thrust 286.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 247 seconds. More...

Castor-Recruit Chronology

1962 October 20 - . 08:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Castor-Recruit.
  • CHECKMATE Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: AEC. Apogee: 147 km (91 mi). Test of the Los Alamos XW-50X1 60 kiloton nuclear warhead. Launch vehicle was a solid propellant XM-33 Strypi rocket with a Recruit booster stage. The warhead detonated at an altitude of 147 km, 66 km from Johnston Island. Observers on the island saw a green and blue circular region surrounded by a red ring. This faded in less than a minute. Blue-green streamers and pink striations developed that lasted half an hour. At this yield, even with the high altitude, extensive disruption of communications were not reported.

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