Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nike Orion Improved


American sounding rocket.

Failures: 4. Success Rate: 97.87%. First Fail Date: 1986-04-25. Last Fail Date: 2003-11-28.

Status: Retired 1998.
Gross mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb).
Height: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Diameter: 0.42 m (1.37 ft).
Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).
First Launch: 1992.08.18.
Last Launch: 2008.10.22.
Number: 11 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Hawk American surface-to-air missile and sounding rocket family. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Raytheon American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Raytheon, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...

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...
  • Improved Orion-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 400 kg. Thrust 13.00 kN. The Improved Orion motor was a bi-phase propellant system that results in thrust levels of approximately 84.5 kN during the first four seconds of motor burn then trailing off to approximately 13.3 kN until burnout around 25 seconds. The fins were generally configured to provide a burn out spin rate of four cycles per second. More...

Nike Orion Improved Chronology


1992 August 18 - . 09:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-198.
  • Testflug test - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 92 km (57 mi).

1993 November 29 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-206.
  • Mini-Texus 1 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1994 May 3 - . 07:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-208.
  • Mini-Texus 2 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 139 km (86 mi).

1995 April 29 - . 05:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-214.
  • Mini-Texus 4 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 149 km (92 mi).

1995 May 2 - . 05:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-215.
  • Mini-Texus 3 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1998 February 11 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-232.
  • Mini-Texus 5 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1998 December 3 - . 11:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Nike Improved Orion DLR K-NO2-237.
  • Mini-Texus 6 Microgravity mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

2008 June 30 - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved.
2008 July 7 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved.
2008 July 12 - . 10:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved.
2008 October 22 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Orion Improved.
  • REXUS 4 - . Nation: Sweden. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use