Encyclopedia Astronautica
Terrapin


American test vehicle. Terrapin sounding rockets were two-stage vehicles launched from Wallops Island. The Terrapin sounding rocket was developed by Republic Aviation under a National Security Agency contract for a University of Maryland project that allowed graduate students to study the upper atmosphere. The two-stage rocket used a Deacon motor with a slow-burn grain for the lower stage, and a TSI upper stage. The upper stage was equipped with low-drag swept stabilising fins.

The two stage vehicle consisted of a Deacon first stage and T-55 second stage. The project was funded by the National Security Agency, the rocket developed by Republic Aviation, and flights were conducted by graduate students of the University of Maryland. The Deacon was modified to burn at half of its normal rate. NACA objected to Republic's stabilisation fin design, but it worked well.

Payload: 3.50 kg (7.70 lb) to a 130 km altitude. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1956-09-21. Last Fail Date: 1956-09-21.

Gross mass: 101 kg (222 lb).
Payload: 3.50 kg (7.70 lb).
Height: 4.50 m (14.70 ft).
Diameter: 0.16 m (0.52 ft).
Thrust: 15.00 kN (3,372 lbf).
Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).
First Launch: 1956.09.21.
Last Launch: 1957.01.01.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Deacon The Deacon was an advanced solid rocket motor design cancelled at the end of World War II. In 1947 NACA began using reworked surplus motors to boost instrumented subscale aircraft models to speeds of up to Mach 4. They became a workhorse for the Agency's aerodynamic research, resulting in new production. Thousands were flown, until, by the end of the 1950's, supersonic wind tunnels took over the job. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Republic American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Republic, 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...

Associated Stages

Terrapin Chronology


1956 September 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin. LV Configuration: Terrapin M1. FAILURE: Second stage did not ignite..
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NSA. Apogee: 16 km (9 mi). Summary: First Terrpain launch attempt..

1956 September 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin. LV Configuration: Terrapin M2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NSA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Summary: First successful flight of a Terrapin sounding rocket at Wallops Island, which consisted of a Deacon and T55 rocket and carried a payload of 3 kg to a 120 km altitude..

1957 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin.
  • Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NSA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1957 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin.
  • Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NSA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1957 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin.
  • Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NSA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1957 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin.
  • Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NSA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

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