Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sparrow Arcas


American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle.

The HV Arcas was a modification of the basic Arcas with larger fins for use at high altitude and a modified aft section to mate with the interstage to the first stage. The rocket was launched from a 4.6 m rail and their was a six second coast after Sparrow burnout before Arcas ignited. Canted fins provide both stages a roll of 8 to 15 rpm for stability. The rocket was originally designed to measure air density over the Pacific Missile Range, and later used by the military for study of the mesophere and ionosphere.

Payload: 5.50 kg (12.10 lb) to a 175 km altitude.

Gross mass: 94 kg (207 lb).
Payload: 5.50 kg (12.10 lb).
Height: 3.84 m (12.59 ft).
Diameter: 0.20 m (0.65 ft).
Span: 0.81 m (2.67 ft).
Thrust: 35.00 kN (7,868 lbf).
Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).
First Launch: 1963.10.01.
Last Launch: 1974.01.01.
Number: 34 .

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
  • Point Mugu US Naval Air Station and major missile testing centre, known to have been used for 2551 launches from 1955 to 2005. The actual total of missile tests is many times greater. More...
  • San Nicolas Military facility on the California Channel Islands, used for rocket launches in support of other missile tests from Vandenberg or Point Mugu. Known to have been used for 35 launches from 1957 to 2004, reaching up to 443 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Eglin This US Air Force proving ground and missile test range, based in Valparaiso, Florida and extending over a vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico, was founded in 1935, In early 1946 the First Experimental Guided Missiles Group was activated at Eglin. The highly-instrumented Eglin Gulf Test Range supported flight tests of Bomarc, Matador, Quail, and Hound Dog cruise missiles. Both the military and NASA used Eglin to support launch of sounding rockets in support of their programs. Eglin was known to have been used for 441 launches from 1959 to 1980, reaching up to 686 kilometers altitude. The actual number of missile tests was many times greater. 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...
  • Thule AFB Air Force base used for a series of geomagnetic pole sounding rocket launches from 1970 to 1976. Also known to have been used for 988 launches from 1964 to 1980, reaching up to 122 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages

Sparrow Arcas Chronology


1963 Oct - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 01 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1963 Oct - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 02 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 03 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 05 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 06 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 09 Sphere - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 04 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 May 1 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas OP 411176.
  • Denpro 07 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 May 8 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas OP 411391.
  • Denpro 08 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 Aug - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 10 Sphere - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 16 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro II Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro III Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas OP 417158A.
  • Denpro - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1965 November 2 - . 23:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas S-1.
  • IQSY release Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 134 km (83 mi).

1965 November 11 - . 04:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas S-2.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1965 November 18 - . 02:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas NA-FLORA /S-4.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1965 November 18 - . 05:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas S-3.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1965 November 18 - . 08:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas NA-HANNAH /S-6.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1968 February 7 - . 19:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas Sparc 813303.
  • UM Sparc Pitot Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1968 February 8 - . 19:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas Sparc 813344.
  • UM Sparc Pitot Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

1969 November 30 - . 02:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Arcas VII Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NTNF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1970 August 4 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Arcas VIII Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NTNF. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1971 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1971 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1971 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1971 March 22 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).

1971 April 6 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 108 km (67 mi).

1971 April 7 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1971 July 28 - . 13:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • AFCRL Arcas 71-3 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1971 July 28 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • AFCRL Arcas 71-4 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1972 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1972 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1973 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1974 - . Launch Site: Thule AFB. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas. LV Configuration: Sparrow Arcas PCA.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

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