Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nike Yardbird


American sounding rocket.

Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1961-06-01. Last Fail Date: 1961-07-26.

Height: 8.10 m (26.50 ft).
Diameter: 0.42 m (1.37 ft).
Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).
First Launch: 1961.06.01.
Last Launch: 1961.07.26.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Nike Single stage vehicles consisting first of just the Nike booster were initially fired in the course of development of the Nike-Ajax surface-to-air missile. Later it was used occasionally as a sounding rocket, but much more often as the boost stage of a multi-stage sounding rocket. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Michigan American agency overseeing development of rockets. Univeristy of Michigan, 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...

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...

Nike Yardbird Chronology


1961 June 1 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike Yardbird. LV Configuration: Nike Yardbird Test Flight 1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Sphere Test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: UM. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1961 July 26 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike Yardbird. LV Configuration: Nike Yardbird Test Flight 2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Sphere Test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: UM. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

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