Encyclopedia Astronautica
Pedro Recruit


American sounding rocket. Air Launch Probe System (ALPS) and Fighter Launched Advanced Materials Experiment (FLAME) were both vehicles that used a Pedro first stage and a Recruit second stage. They were launched from an F-4 fighter aircraft.

The sight of the F-4 at takeoff would always get a lot of interest because of the size of the vehicle underneath. This launch concept is now used in the 1990s by the Pegasus family of launch vehicles with B-52 or jumbo jet aircraft instead of a fighter aircraft. FLAME and ALPS would climb to high altitude and plunge back into the atmosphere at hypersonic speed to conduct tests of materials, systems and hypersonic phenomena. This provided an inexpensive method of testing reentry bodies at realistic conditions.

Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1975-04-18. Last Fail Date: 1975-06-04.

Height: 7.80 m (25.50 ft).
Diameter: 0.71 m (2.32 ft).
Thrust: 244.00 kN (54,853 lbf).
Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).
First Launch: 1975.02.04.
Last Launch: 1976.01.26.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Recruit The Recruit motor was usually used as an upper stage, but in this air-launched vehicle was used for re-entry vehicle heat transfer and aerodynamic stability tests. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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...
  • Tonopah Sounding rocket and test vehicle launch site. Conducted launches in support of US nuclear weapons development programs. Known to have been used for 93 launches from 1957 to 1986, reaching up to 270 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages

Pedro Recruit Chronology


1975 February 4 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 1.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 February 27 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 2.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 March 28 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 3.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 April 18 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 4. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 June 3 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 5.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 June 4 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 6. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1976 January 22 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 7.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1976 January 26 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. LV Configuration: Pedro Recruit FLAME 8.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

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