Encyclopedia Astronautica
Terrier Orion



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Terrier Orion
American two-stage, spin-stabilized sounding rocket. It used a Terrier Mk 12 Mod 1 engine for its first stage and an improved Orion motor for its second stage. The Terrier-Orion could loft payloads weighing up to 290 kilograms to altitudes up to 190 kilometers.

The Terrier Mk Mod 1 was a surplus U.S. Navy missile motor; Orion was a surplus U.S. Army missile motor. The Terrier-Orion was 10.7 meters long. The Terrier stage was 46 centimeters in diameter, and the Orion was 36 centimeters in diameter. Payload 159 kg to 190 km or 290 kg to 115 km.

A more powerful version of the Terrier-Orion rocket used the Terrier Mk 70 motor as its first stage. This version was used for two FAA/AST-licensed suborbital launches performed by Astrotech Space Operations/DTI at the Woomera Instrumented Range in Australia in 2001 and 2002. The second flight, in July 2002, successfully flew the HyShot scramjet engine experiment. DTI Associates of Arlington, Virginia, now markets and offers integration services for the Terrier-Orion after purchasing all intellectual property rights to the rocket from SPACEHAB in July 2001.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb).
Height: 12.80 m (41.90 ft).
Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft).
Thrust: 258.00 kN (58,000 lbf).
Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).
First Launch: 1997.05.23.
Last Launch: 2011.10.13.
Number: 51 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Terrier Standard US Navy surface-to-air missile developed during the 1950's. Modified single stage Navy Terrier missiles were used as sounding rockets, sometimes supplemented with upper stages. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Convair American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Convair, USA. 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Kiruna The sounding rocket launch site at Kiruna was officially opened in September 1966 under the auspices of ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). When ESA was created in 1972 and replaced ESRO, Kiruna came under the management of the Swedish Space Corporation, a state-owned limited liability company under the Swedish Ministry of Industry. The 'Esrange' is located 45 km from the town of Kiruna and has seven permanent pads able to launch the largest sounding rockets, including the Black Brant 9, Skylark 12, and Castor 4B-boosted vehicles. More...

Associated Stages

Terrier Orion Chronology


1997 May 23 - . 21:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.13DT.
  • MSX? Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; SMDC. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2002 June 5 - . 10:43 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.023UE.
2002 June 5 - . 11:13 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.022UE.
2002 July 1 - . 23:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.032GE.
  • MM-MW-08 MacWAVE Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2002 July 5 - . 00:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.033GE.
  • MM-MW-23 MacWAVE Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

2002 November 20 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.039DP.
  • VALPE (fairing) test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

2003 January 24 - . 20:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.030GE.
  • MacWAVE Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

2003 January 28 - . 18:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.031GE.
  • MacWAVE Plasma / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2003 August 20 - . 11:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.040DP.
2004 April 16 - . 16:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion FASTT SPV-2.
  • Dummy Scramjet - . Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

2004 November 24 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 12.061GT. FAILURE: Failure.
2005 February 2 - . 20:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.58DR.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2005 March 1 - . 23:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.59DR.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2005 March 2 - . 21:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.60DR.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2005 May 5 - . 09:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.57DP.
  • MCAFT-1 / IBSi Missile defense / biology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

2005 December 10 - . 11:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • FASTT Scramjet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; DARPA. Apogee: 19 km (11 mi).

2005 December 20 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 12.63GT.
  • Water recovery test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2006 November 16 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion ARAV-B.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2007 February 14 - . 09:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.061.
  • HEX-II V-1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 February 14 - . 09:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.063.
  • HEX-II V-2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 February 14 - . 09:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 41.062.
  • HEX-II V-3 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 April 26 - . 21:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion ARAV-A?.
  • FTM-11 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

2007 June 15 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion ARAV.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN; Sandia. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

2007 June 15 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion ARAV.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN; Sandia. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

2007 November 6 - . 04:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion Aegis Target.
  • PAC-2 target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2007 November 6 - . 04:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion Aegis Target.
  • PAC-2 target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi). Summary: A Standard Missile-3 was launched from the Aegis cruiser CG 70 USS Lake Erie in a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test. This was a successful multiple simultaneous engagement involving two ballistic missile targets..

2007 November 15 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion ARAV?.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

2007 December 17 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion Aegis Target.
  • MRT-5 MBRV-3? Sep - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2008 June 13 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion Aegis Target.
  • Tracking test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2008 June 13 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion Aegis Target.
  • Tracking test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2009 February 18 - . 09:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.076 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmosphere.

2009 February 18 - . 10:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.078 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmosphere.

2009 February 18 - . 10:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.079 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmosphere.

2009 February 18 - . 11:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.077 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmosphere.

2009 May 7 - . Launch Site: Woomera. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • HiFire-0 - . Nation: Australia. Agency: DSTO. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Summary: Hypersonic.

2009 May 28 - . 16:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.080NR - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Hypersonic.

2009 June 26 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.083UO - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi). Summary: Education.

2009 July 31 - . 03:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Unknown.
  • Aegis Target - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi). Summary: Target.

2009 July 31 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Unknown.
  • Aegis Target - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi). Summary: Target.

2009 December 17 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.086UO - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Airglow.

2010 February 9 - . 09:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
2010 March 22 - . Launch Site: Woomera. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • HiFire-1 - . Nation: Australia. Agency: DSTO. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi). Summary: Hypersonic test.

2010 June 24 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.088UO - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Summary: Educational payload.

2010 September 21 - . 13:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.082NP - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Carried SubTEC-III technology experiment..

2010 December 6 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.087NT - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Summary: JPL technology mission to refine methods for planetary lander terrain recognition..

2011 June 10 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.096GT - . Nation: USA. Summary: Technology mission. Carried high data rate X-band telemetry system and an 0.4-meter SMART microsatellite bus..

2011 June 23 - . 10:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.095UO - . Nation: USA. Summary: Educational mission..

2011 July 10 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.090GE - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi). Summary: Ionosphere mission..

2011 July 21 - . 11:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.092GO - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi). Summary: Education mission..

2011 October 11 - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.094UE - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmospheric sciences mission. CHAMPS flights, one nighttime and one daytime, to study meteoritic dust in the upper atmosphere..

2011 October 13 - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.093UE - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Summary: Atmospheric sciences mission. CHAMPS flights, one nighttime and one daytime, to study meteoritic dust in the upper atmosphere..

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