Encyclopedia Astronautica
Talos Castor


American sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket consisting of 1 x Talos booster + 1 x Castor

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 8,200 kg (18,000 lb).
Height: 16.90 m (55.40 ft).
Diameter: 0.76 m (2.49 ft).
Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).
First Launch: 1976.11.19.
Last Launch: 2009.11.05.
Number: 10 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Super Chief Series of large sounding rockets developed by Aerojet Space Data using the Talos booster, various upper stages, and Astrobee electronics. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Poker Flat Sounding rocket launch site. In use from 1969 to present. Poker Flat Rocket Range (PFRR) contains five major launch pads. Pads 1 and 2 each have a 7.5K launcher, pads 3 and 4 each contain 20K MRL launchers, and pad 5 contains a 4K twin boom launcher. Pad 3 is equipped with a moveable launcher enclosure which can be used to protect a rocket on pad 3 and workers from the severe winter weather. More...
  • Woomera After World War II British government recognized the need for a large range to test the incredible array of long-range missile systems then planned. After considering sites in Canada, it was decided that Australia would best meet the projected needs. The Long Range Weapons Establishment was created on 1 April 1947 as a joint British/Australian enterprise. 23 days later the name Woomera (an aboriginal word of axtlaxtl, or spear thrower) was selected for the new town to be built as its administrative center. Woomera town peaked at a population of 6,000 in the 1960's. Thereafter the progressive cancellation of British missile and space projects put Woomera went into sustained decline. However it played a key role in the history of rocketry, including orbital launches or launch attempts by Black Arrow, Sparta, and Europa boosters. More...
  • Barking Sands Military missile test and sounding rocket launch site. In use from 1962 to present. Sandia National Laboratories operates the Kauai Test Facility for the Department of Energy and, through inter-Service Support Agreements provides the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility with rocket launch services for target systems and upper atmosphere measurements. PMRF/KTF is recognized in the INF Treaty as an authorized site from which launches of the STARS missile can be conducted. The site was recently involved in anti-ballistic missile tests. Known to have been used for 2320 launches from 1962 to 2007, reaching up to 1000 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • Castor 1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,852/535 kg. Thrust 286.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 247 seconds. More...
  • Talos-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 1,500 kg. Thrust 516.00 kN. The Talos motor was fitted with a conical adapter for mating to the second stage. Differential drag forces caused separation. Four fins were arranged at the aft end in a cruciform configuration and drove the vehicle to approximately one revolution per second burnout roll rate. More...

Talos Castor Chronology


1976 November 19 - . 04:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor DNA EX651.92-1.
  • EXCEDE Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DNA. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1977 September 28 - . 15:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor DNA IC733.03-1.
  • SPIRE I Infrared background mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DNA. Apogee: 275 km (170 mi).

1978 October 29 - . 05:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor DNA EX851.44-1.
  • EXCEDE 1 Active plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF GL. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1979 October 19 - . 05:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor GL A51.970.
  • EXCEDE 2 (SPECTRAL) Active plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF GL. Apogee: 128 km (79 mi).

1983 March 19 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor GL A51.971.
  • ELIAS Aeronomy / aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF GL. Apogee: 305 km (189 mi).

1986 April 8 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor GL A51.378.
  • SPIRIT I Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF GL. Apogee: 241 km (149 mi).

1991 September 4 - . 05:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor ZEST-1.
  • Tungsten dust cloud Target/Release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 330 km (200 mi). Summary: Tungsten dust release for SDIO..

1991 September 12 - . 05:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor. LV Configuration: Talos Castor ZEST-2.
  • Target / release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 330 km (200 mi). Summary: Tungsten dust release for SDIO..

2007 June 15 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor.
  • HYCAUSE test - . Nation: USA. Agency: DSTO. Apogee: 530 km (320 mi).

2009 November 5 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Talos Castor.
  • ARAV C - . Nation: USA. Summary: ABM target.

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