Encyclopedia Astronautica
HJ Nike


American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike

Failures: 4. Success Rate: 92.45%. First Fail Date: 1955-09-15. Last Fail Date: 1962-10-31.

Status: Retired 1969.
Gross mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb).
Height: 14.30 m (46.90 ft).
Diameter: 0.58 m (1.90 ft).
Thrust: 365.00 kN (82,055 lbf).
Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).
First Launch: 1955.09.15.
Last Launch: 1969.07.01.
Number: 53 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Honest John Unguided single-stage solid-propellant US Army missile developed by Douglas Aircraft. It was later used as the booster stage for a range of sounding rockets, test vehicles, and targets. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. 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...
  • White Sands White Sands Missile Range occupies an area 160 x 65 km in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, across the Sacramento Mountain range from Roswell. In the 1930's, Robert Goddard, after surveying weather conditions and population densities, had selected Roswell for his pioneering rocket tests. White Sands, a true desert area, was even more unpopulated than Roswell. German advances in rocketry during World War II impelled the US Army to begin programs to exploit this technology. The White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long-range rockets on 9 July 1945. Seven days later the first atomic bomb was exploded at Trinity Site, near the north boundary of the range. The first launch of a Tiny Tim rocket was on 26 September 1945. On 11 October a Tiny Tim boosted a WAC Corporal rocket from the tower. This was the first use of Launch Complex 33, later to be used for V-2, Nike, Viking, Corporal, Lance and Multiple Launch Rocket System testing. More...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Barking Sands Military missile test and sounding rocket launch site. In use from 1962 to present. Sandia National Laboratories operates the Kauai Test Facility for the Department of Energy and, through inter-Service Support Agreements provides the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility with rocket launch services for target systems and upper atmosphere measurements. PMRF/KTF is recognized in the INF Treaty as an authorized site from which launches of the STARS missile can be conducted. The site was recently involved in anti-ballistic missile tests. Known to have been used for 2320 launches from 1962 to 2007, reaching up to 1000 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • HJ Nike Nike-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 599/256 kg. Thrust 195.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 195 seconds. The average sea level thrust of the Nike rocket motor was 190.3 kN. The interstage adapter was bolted to the front of the Nike and consisted of a conical shaped adapter which slip-fit into the second stage nozzle, thus providing for drag separation at Nike burnout. Each Nike fin was 0.45 square meters in area. Normally, the fins were canted to provide a two revolutions per second spin rate at Nike burnout. More...
  • HJ Nike-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,900/954 kg. Thrust 365.00 kN. Rocket motor originally developed for the Army Honest John tactical missile. In sounding rocket applications the interstage adapter was bolted to the front of the Taurus and consisted of a conical shaped adapter which slip-fit into the second stage nozzle, thus providing for drag separation at Taurus burnout. Each Taurus fin was 0.46 square meters in area. Normally, the fins were canted to provide a two revolutions per second spin rate at Taurus burnout. The weight of the booster system is 3005 pounds. More...

HJ Nike Chronology


1955 September 15 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1955 December 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 April 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 October 11 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Polished Cone re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1957 January 24 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Cone re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1957 April 10 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1957 August 2 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Flat re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 January 23 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 May 16 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • E41 model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 December 17 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1960 August 13 - . 10:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike AA5.423.
  • Firefly MARGIE Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1960 August 15 - . 10:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike AA5.424.
  • Firefly LOLA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 84 km (52 mi).

1960 August 25 - . 14:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike AA5.431.
  • Firefly ZELDA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 102 km (63 mi).

1960 October 11 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Glide Rocket Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1962 July 9 - . 08:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-3. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1962 July 9 - . 09:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-4.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 11 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 21 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 23 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike AC20.463.
  • Firefly III ETHEL Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1962 October 26 - . 09:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-11.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 26 - . 10:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-12.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 26 - . 10:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-14.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 26 - . 10:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-17.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 29 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 October 31 - . 23:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike AC20.461. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Firefly III HAZEL Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 November 1 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-20.
  • Electron density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 96 km (59 mi).

1962 November 1 - . 12:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-24.
  • Electron density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 November 1 - . 12:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-27.
  • Electron density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1962 November 1 - . 12:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike X-28.
  • Electron density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1963 May 26 - . 05:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1963 September 12 - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike Cree 13.
  • Parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1965 June 6 - . 17:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • DASA D6.4 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1965 June 18 - . 08:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1965 June 22 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1965 June 24 - . 06:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1966 November 5 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Voyager parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 32 km (19 mi).

1966 November 21 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Voyager parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 37 km (22 mi).

1966 November 24 - . 13:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • PEPP test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 39 km (24 mi).

1966 December 10 - . 17:12 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Voyager parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 January 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 February 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike PEPP.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 May 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Voyager parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 June 20 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Voyager parachute test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 September 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike PEPP.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 September 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 October 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike PEPP.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1967 November 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 March 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 October 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 October 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1969 June 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike PEPP.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1969 July 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1969 July 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike. LV Configuration: HJ Nike DASA 6.1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DASA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

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