Encyclopedia Astronautica
Loki



wsuperlo.jpg
Super Loki
Credit: via Andreas Parsch
American unguided solid-propellant barrage anti-aircraft rocket adapted to use as a meteorological sounding rocket.

Loki began as an American version of the German Taifun unguided barrage anti-aircraft rocket. This rocket boosted a small-diameter explosive dart towards high-altitude aircraft. Development was contracted to Bendix and started in 1948. Many difficulties were encountered and the decision was finally taken to switch from the storable liquid propellants of the Taifun to a solid propellant motor. In order to obtain the necessary accuracy, it was necessary to fire thousands of rockets in order to prepare artillery-like 'firing tables'. To support this, JPL fired 3,544 Loki rockets at White Sands, carefully measuring the performance of each. The Army finally cancelled the weapons program in 1956 in favour of guided Nike-Ajax and Hawk missiles. This left thousands of Lokis available for use as sounding rockets. Later new production was initiated and the rocket continued in support of scientific and military weather monitoring programmes to the end of the 1980's. The original Loki I motor was supplemented by the Loki II, with 50% more propellant, in 1957. Variations included:

  • Rockoon, where the rocket was taken to high altitude by a weather balloon before being fired. See the separate entry on Rockoon for details of this version
  • WASP with a payload of chaff (strips of radar-reflective foil). This was fired from Navy ships from a helical launcher strapped to the five inch gun. An explosive charge would disperse the chaff cloud at the desired altitude, and be tracked by the radar of the ship to determine winds aloft.
  • HASP used the more powerful Loki II motor, which allowed a functional payload to be carried as an alternative to the chaff. A miniaturised transmitter using a single vacuum tube was developed. As the dart descended under an aluminised mylar parachute (allowing it to be tracked by radar), it would transmit temperature and pressure data. The rocket was modified with 'riders' to allow it to be fired directly from the barrel of a 5 inch naval gun.
  • Oriole - a version with a cosmic ray and solar radiation payload developed by the University of Maryland.
  • Loki II-Dart - version developed by the University of Iowa for cosmic ray measurements during the International Geophysical Year. Six of 14 launched returned data.

The Loki was supplemented by the Super Loki-Dart with a new larger-diameter motor, from 1970.

Payload: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb) to a 75 km altitude. Failures: 11. Success Rate: 99.64%. First Fail Date: 1958-09-07. Last Fail Date: 2003-11-07. Launch data is: continuing. Development Cost $: 21.900 million in 1952 dollars.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 13 kg (28 lb).
Payload: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb).
Height: 2.63 m (8.62 ft).
Diameter: 0.0760 m (0.2490 ft).
Span: 0.33 m (1.08 ft).
Thrust: 9.03 kN (2,030 lbf).
Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).
First Launch: 1959.10.13.
Last Launch: 1960.08.25.
Number: 38 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • SR71 Aerodyne solid rocket engine. Loki PWN-8. More...

See also
  • Loki American unguided solid-propellant barrage anti-aircraft rocket adapted to use as a meteorological sounding rocket. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Alway, Peter, Rockets of the World, Saturn Press, Ann Arbor, 1995.
  • Parsch, Andreas, DesignationSystems.Net, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Point Mugu US Naval Air Station and major missile testing centre, known to have been used for 2551 launches from 1955 to 2005. The actual total of missile tests is many times greater. More...

Associated Stages

Loki Chronology


1951 June 22 - . LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki rocket first flight..
  • - . Nation: USA. Summary: JPL fired first of a series of 3,544 Loki solid-propellant antiaircraft missiles at WSPG, the Army program ending after September 1955. Loki rocket was later used in ONR Rockoon upper atmosphere balloon-launched rocket research soundings..

1959 October 13 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 October 14 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 69 km (42 mi).

1959 October 20 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 October 20 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 35 km (21 mi).

1959 October 21 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 31 km (19 mi).

1959 October 21 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 64 km (39 mi).

1959 October 26 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 October 27 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 November 12 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi).

1959 November 18 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 66 km (41 mi).

1960 January 15 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 37 km (22 mi).

1960 January 21 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi).

1960 January 25 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki II.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1960 January 26 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 39 km (24 mi).

1960 January 28 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 34 km (21 mi).

1960 February 2 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 35 km (21 mi).

1960 February 11 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki. LV Configuration: Loki Loki I.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 35 km (21 mi).

1960 July 13 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 July 13 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 8 - . 17:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 8 - . 17:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 11 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 11 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 12 - . 13:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 12 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 12 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 12 - . 16:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 15 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 15 - . 18:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 19 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 19 - . 17:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 22 - . 16:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 22 - . 16:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 24 - . 18:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 24 - . 18:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 25 - . 15:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 25 - . 15:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1960 August 25 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

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