Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sidewinder-Arcas


American sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket.

Failures: 3. First Fail Date: 1967-08-20. Last Fail Date: 1969-02-25.

Gross mass: 120 kg (260 lb).
Height: 4.80 m (15.70 ft).
Diameter: 0.13 m (0.42 ft).
Span: 0.64 m (2.09 ft).
Thrust: 26.40 kN (5,935 lbf).
Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).
First Launch: 1964.12.01.
Last Launch: 1975.10.02.
Number: 20 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Arcas The Arcas (All-Purpose Rocket for Collecting Atmospheric Soundings) was developed by the Atlantic Research Corporation for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with the support of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Primarily a meteorological rocket, the Arcas was first fired in July 1959. The single-stage version was designed to lift 5.4 kg to 64 km. For more demanding missions, several versions of boosted Arcas were developed, as well as a stretched Super Arcas motor. 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...
  • White Sands White Sands Missile Range occupies an area 160 x 65 km in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, across the Sacramento Mountain range from Roswell. In the 1930's, Robert Goddard, after surveying weather conditions and population densities, had selected Roswell for his pioneering rocket tests. White Sands, a true desert area, was even more unpopulated than Roswell. German advances in rocketry during World War II impelled the US Army to begin programs to exploit this technology. The White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long-range rockets on 9 July 1945. Seven days later the first atomic bomb was exploded at Trinity Site, near the north boundary of the range. The first launch of a Tiny Tim rocket was on 26 September 1945. On 11 October a Tiny Tim boosted a WAC Corporal rocket from the tower. This was the first use of Launch Complex 33, later to be used for V-2, Nike, Viking, Corporal, Lance and Multiple Launch Rocket System testing. More...
  • Fort Churchill Fort Churchill is an Arctic site on Hudson Bay with a rail link. It is near the point of maximum auroral activity. This combination of circumstances made it ideal for far-north sounding rocket launches. In 1954, the Canadian Army conducted the first series of rocket firings at Fort Churchill. Following a period of inactivity, construction of more elaborate facilities in support of the International Geophysical Year began in 1956. IGY firings began in July 1957. The range was closed again in December 1958 after the IGY program ended. It was reopened again in August 1959 by the US Army as part of its network of sounding rocket stations. This allowed use of the site by other groups over the years. More...
  • Andoya Andoya Rocket Range (ARR) is the world's northernmost permanent launch facility for sounding rockets and scientific balloons and is responsible for all scientific-related balloon and rocket operations in Norwegian territory. ARR provides complete services for launch, operations, data acquisition, recovery and ground instrumentation support. The range has conducted more than 650 rocket launches and hosted scientists and engineers from more than 70 institutes and universities. More...

Associated Stages

Sidewinder-Arcas Chronology


1964 Dec - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Test 1 (of 10) - . Nation: USA. Agency: NMC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1966 April 1 - . 13:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • AC30.752 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1966 September 28 - . 18:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • AC30.753 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1967 August 20 - . 00:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Arcas V Ionosphere/Plasma mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NASA; NTNF. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1967 August 25 - . 23:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas NASA 15.21II.
  • Arcas III Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NTNF. Apogee: 84 km (52 mi).

1967 October 9 - . 04:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas NASA 15.22II.
  • Arcas IV Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NTNF. Apogee: 86 km (53 mi).

1967 October 13 - . 04:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas NASA 15.23II.
  • Arcas V Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NASA; NTNF. Apogee: 87 km (54 mi).

1968 November 1 - . 04:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas NASA 15.24II. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Arcas VI PCA Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1969 February 25 - . 14:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • ESRO A40 / 3 (R127) Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 86 km (53 mi).

1969 February 25 - . 21:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. FAILURE: Failure.
  • ESRO A40 / 4 Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 68 km (42 mi).

1969 March 14 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1969 March 14 - . 19:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Recovery test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1969 April 13 - . 08:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • ESRO A40 / 7 Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 51 km (31 mi).

1969 April 13 - . 10:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • ESRO A40 / 5 Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 66 km (41 mi).

1969 April 14 - . 17:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • ESRO A40 / 2 Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 59 km (36 mi).

1969 April 14 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • ESRO A40 / 6 Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 56 km (34 mi).

1969 May 27 - . 02:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas CRL A30.900-1.
  • Q-1 p / l calibration Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 97 km (60 mi).

1969 November 2 - . 21:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas CRL A30.900-2.
  • Q-1 (D-region) Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 96 km (59 mi).

1969 November 4 - . 22:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas CRL A30.900-3.
  • Q-2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF CRL. Apogee: 99 km (61 mi).

1975 October 2 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas. LV Configuration: Sidewinder-Arcas MSAC 2L7503.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

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