Encyclopedia Astronautica
Scout X-4



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Scout X4
Scout X4 - COSPAR 1964-084
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Scout
Credit: © Mark Wade
American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2A + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Altair 2

LEO Payload: 103 kg (227 lb) to a 185 km orbit. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1964-06-25. Last Fail Date: 1964-06-25 in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 8.610 million.

Stage Data - Scout X-4

  • Stage 1. 1 x Algol 2. Gross Mass: 11,600 kg (25,500 lb). Empty Mass: 1,650 kg (3,630 lb). Thrust (vac): 564.245 kN (126,847 lbf). Isp: 255 sec. Burn time: 47 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 1.01 m (3.31 ft). Span: 1.01 m (3.31 ft). Length: 9.09 m (29.82 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Algol 2. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Castor 1. Gross Mass: 3,852 kg (8,492 lb). Empty Mass: 535 kg (1,179 lb). Thrust (vac): 286.001 kN (64,296 lbf). Isp: 247 sec. Burn time: 27 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Span: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Length: 5.92 m (19.42 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: M33-20-4. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Antares 2. Gross Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Empty Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Thrust (vac): 93.094 kN (20,928 lbf). Isp: 293 sec. Burn time: 36 sec. Isp(sl): 233 sec. Diameter: 0.78 m (2.55 ft). Span: 0.78 m (2.55 ft). Length: 2.90 m (9.50 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: X-259. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 4. 1 x Altair 2. Gross Mass: 275 kg (606 lb). Empty Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Thrust (vac): 22.241 kN (5,000 lbf). Isp: 266 sec. Burn time: 28 sec. Isp(sl): 242 sec. Diameter: 0.64 m (2.09 ft). Span: 0.64 m (2.09 ft). Length: 2.53 m (8.30 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: X-258. Status: Out of Production.

Gross mass: 17,250 kg (38,020 lb).
Payload: 103 kg (227 lb).
Height: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.01 m (3.31 ft).
Thrust: 513.40 kN (115,417 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 1963.06.28.
Last Launch: 1965.12.06.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Transit American navigation satellite. 46 launches, 1959.09.17 (Transit 1A) to 1988.08.25 (Transit O-31). The Transit Navigation System began development in 1958. More...
  • Injun American earth magnetosphere satellite. 5 launches, 1961.06.29 (Injun 1) to 1968.08.08 (Explorer 40). Radiation decay data satellite. May also have been a cover for some NRL ELINT satellites. More...
  • S-55 American earth micrometeoroid satellite. 4 launches, 1961.06.30 (Explorer (13) S 55) to 1964.11.06 (Explorer 23). Micrometeoroid research. More...
  • GRS American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1963.06.28. Space gas data. More...
  • ADE American earth atmosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1963.12.19 (Explorer 19) to 1968.08.08 (Explorer 39). 12 foot diameter. balloon; identical to Explorer 9; atmospheric density studies. More...
  • ESRS American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1964.06.25. Environmental Sciences Research Satellite. More...
  • IE American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1964.08.25, Explorer 20. Ionospheric research. More...
  • Beacon American earth ionosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1964.10.10 (Explorer 22) to 1965.04.29 (Explorer 27). Early technology satellite. None reached orbit. More...
  • San Marco Italian earth atmosphere satellite. 5 launches, 1964.12.15 (San Marco 1) to 1988.03.25 (San Marco D/L). Atmospheric density studies. More...
  • IQSY American solar satellite. One launch, 1965.11.19, Explorer 30. Solar radiation data. More...
  • FRANCE French earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1965.12.06. Investigated the properties of the ionized layers of the atmosphere by observation of the propagation of very low frequency waves in the ionosphere. More...

Associated Engines
  • Algol 2 CSD solid rocket engine. 564.2 kN. Isp=255s. Used on Scout A, Scout B, Scout X-3, Scout X-4; proposed as strap-on for Titan 3BAS2. First flight 1962. More...
  • M33-20-4 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 286 kN. Isp=247s. Used as apogee kick motor on Delta D, LT Thor Agena D, Scout X-1, Scout X-2, Scout X-3, Scout X-4, TA Thor Agena B, TA Thor Agena D. First flight 1960. More...
  • Sert-I Cesium Hughes electric/cesium rocket engine. 5.6 naN. In Development, 1962-1964. Isp=8050s. 8 cm diameter cesium contact ion engine was designed to operate at 0.6 kW. More...
  • Sert-I Mercury NASA Cleveland electric/mercury rocket engine. 28 mN. Developed 1962-1964. Isp=4900s. 10 cm diameter mercury electron bombardment ion engine used on the first successful flight test of ion propulsion on a Scout X-4 launch vehicle. More...
  • X-259 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 93.1 kN. Isp=293s. Used on Scout A, Scout B, Scout D, Scout F, Scout X-2, Scout X-3, Scout X-4. First flight 1962. More...
  • X-258 Thiokol solid rocket engine. 22.2 kN. Isp=266s. Kick stage motor for Delta D, Scout A, Scout X-4. First flight 1963. More...

See also
  • Scout Solid-fuel, light payload, lower-cost launch vehicle developed by the Air Force and NASA in the late 1950's and used in a variety of configurations over thirty years. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Wallops Island, and from Italy's equatorial San Marco platform off Kenya. Italy studied but did not develop subsequent upgraded versions. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • Explorer Series of satellites launched by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the exploration of the space environment (micrometeoroids, charged particles, radiation, etc) from both earth orbital and heliocentric orbital locations. More...
  • Transit Spin-stabilized Transit satellites were developed by the US Navy into the first operational navigation satellite system, for use by ballistic missile submarines and surface vessels. Early Transits carried a variety of piggy-back payloads, many still classified. Transit was also known as the Navy Navigation Satellite (NNS). Transit provided continuous navigation satellite service from 1964, initially for Polaris submarines and later for civilian use. 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...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC5 Scout launch complex. Dedicated Scout launch pad, used during the life of that vehicle from 1962 to 1994. More...

Associated Stages
  • Algol 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 11,600/1,650 kg. Thrust 564.25 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 255 seconds. More...
  • Altair 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 275/37 kg. Thrust 22.24 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 266 seconds. More...
  • Antares 2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,400/300 kg. Thrust 93.09 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 293 seconds. More...
  • Castor 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,852/535 kg. Thrust 286.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 247 seconds. More...

Scout X-4 Chronology


1963 June 28 - . 21:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S113.
  • GRS - . Payload: CRL 1. Mass: 99 kg (218 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: GRS. Decay Date: 1983-12-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 612 . COSPAR: 1963-026A. Apogee: 1,306 km (811 mi). Perigee: 413 km (256 mi). Inclination: 49.7000 deg. Period: 102.10 min. Summary: Geophysical Research Satellite; space gas data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1963 December 19 - . 18:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S122R.
  • Explorer 19 - . Payload: ADE A. Mass: 7.00 kg (15.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ADE. Decay Date: 1981-05-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 714 . COSPAR: 1963-053A. Apogee: 2,391 km (1,485 mi). Perigee: 597 km (370 mi). Inclination: 78.6000 deg. Period: 115.90 min. Summary: 12 foot dia. balloon; identical to Explorer 9; atmospheric density studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 June 4 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S125R.
  • Transit 5C-1 - . Payload: Transit 5C / OPS 4412. Mass: 54 kg (119 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 801 . COSPAR: 1964-026A. Apogee: 898 km (557 mi). Perigee: 825 km (512 mi). Inclination: 90.5000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Summary: Operational prototype similar to the 5A series but with some redesign to improve performance. Operated successfully until 23 August 1965..

1964 June 25 - . 01:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S128R. FAILURE: Second stage exploded.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • ESRS - . Payload: CRL 2. Mass: 79 kg (174 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ESRS. Decay Date: 1964-06-25 . COSPAR: F640625A. Summary: Environmental Sciences Research Satellite..

1964 July 20 - . 10:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S124R.
  • SERT 1 Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 4,002 km (2,486 mi). Suborbital 30 minute test of NASA SERT ion engine. The early part of the flight was dedicated to attempts to operate the cesium engine. The cesium engine could not be started because of a high-voltage electrical short circuit. The mercury engine was started about 14 minutes into the flight. This engine was successfully operated for 31 minutes with 53 high-voltage recycle vents which were handled by the fault protection system. Each of the recycle events was only a few seconds duration. Major results from the test were the first demonstration of an ion engine in space, demonstration of effective ion beam neutralization, no EMI effects on other spacecraft systems, and effective recovery from electrical breakdowns. Thrust was measured using three independent measuring systems, and there were no major differences between in-space and ground test performance.

1964 August 25 - . 13:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S134R.
  • Explorer 20 - . Payload: IE A (S-48 Ionosphere Explorer). Mass: 44 kg (97 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IE. USAF Sat Cat: 870 . COSPAR: 1964-051A. Apogee: 999 km (620 mi). Perigee: 857 km (532 mi). Inclination: 79.9000 deg. Period: 103.60 min. Summary: Ionospheric research. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1964 October 10 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S123R.
  • Explorer 22 - . Payload: Beacon Explorer B. Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon. USAF Sat Cat: 899 . COSPAR: 1964-064A. Apogee: 1,053 km (654 mi). Perigee: 872 km (541 mi). Inclination: 79.7000 deg. Period: 104.30 min. Summary: Ionospheric and geodetic data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space..

1964 November 6 - . 12:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S133R.
  • Explorer 23 - . Payload: S-55C. Mass: 134 kg (295 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. Decay Date: 1983-06-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 924 . COSPAR: 1964-074A. Apogee: 980 km (600 mi). Perigee: 463 km (287 mi). Inclination: 51.9000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. Summary: Micrometeoroid data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 November 21 - . 17:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S135R.
  • Explorer 24 - . Payload: ADE B. Mass: 9.00 kg (19.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ADE. Decay Date: 1968-10-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 931 . COSPAR: 1964-076A. Apogee: 2,498 km (1,552 mi). Perigee: 530 km (320 mi). Inclination: 81.4000 deg. Period: 116.30 min. Summary: 12 foot dia. balloon; atmospheric density studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .
  • Explorer 25 - . Payload: Injun 4. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Injun. USAF Sat Cat: 932 . COSPAR: 1964-076B. Apogee: 2,319 km (1,440 mi). Perigee: 526 km (326 mi). Inclination: 81.3000 deg. Period: 114.30 min. Summary: Radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 December 15 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S137R.
  • San Marco 1 - . Mass: 254 kg (559 lb). Nation: Italy. Agency: CRS. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: San Marco. Decay Date: 1965-09-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 957 . COSPAR: 1964-084A. Apogee: 842 km (523 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 37.8000 deg. Period: 95.10 min. Summary: Atmospheric density studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 April 29 - . 14:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S136R.
  • Explorer 27 - . Payload: Beacon Explorer C. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon. USAF Sat Cat: 1328 . COSPAR: 1965-032A. Apogee: 1,309 km (813 mi). Perigee: 932 km (579 mi). Inclination: 41.2000 deg. Period: 107.70 min. Summary: Battery failed in 1968; ionospheric research and geodetic data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space..

1965 November 19 - . 04:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S138R.
  • Explorer 30 - . Payload: Solar Explorer A. Mass: 57 kg (125 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: IQSY. USAF Sat Cat: 1738 . COSPAR: 1965-093A. Apogee: 856 km (531 mi). Perigee: 671 km (416 mi). Inclination: 59.7000 deg. Period: 100.10 min. Summary: Solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 December 6 - . 21:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4. LV Configuration: Scout X-4 S139R.
  • FRANCE 1 - . Payload: FR 1. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: FRANCE. USAF Sat Cat: 1814 . COSPAR: 1965-101A. Apogee: 707 km (439 mi). Perigee: 696 km (432 mi). Inclination: 75.9000 deg. Period: 98.80 min. VLF wave propagation studies. Investigation of the properties of the ionized layers of the atmosphere by observation of the propagation of the properties of very low frequency waves in the ionosphere. First registered by the United States in A/AC.105/INF.125. Orbit given there was 99 .9 min, 749 x 753 km x 75.9 deg, with note: France provided the payload for 1965-101A.

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