Encyclopedia Astronautica
Terrier Oriole


American sounding rocket. SPACEHAB's Astrotech Space Operations developed the Oriole sounding rocket in the late 1990s to provide launch services for commercial and scientific payloads. Oriole was both the first privately developed sounding rocket in the United States and the first new U.S. sounding rocket in 25 years.

The Oriole was a single-stage vehicle with a graphite-epoxy motor manufactured by Alliant Missile Products Company of Rocket Center, West Virginia. It was 396 centimeters long, 56 centimeters in diameter, and generated an average thrust of 92.1 kN. The vehicle provided payloads with 6 to 9 minutes of microgravity during flight. Additionally, it could be combined with other motors to create two-stage sounding rockets (with the Oriole serving as the second stage.

On July 7, 2000, the first Oriole launch took place from NASA WFF. The launch used a two-stage configuration, with the Oriole serving as the second stage and a Terrier Mk 12 motor serving as the first stage. The Oriole sounding rocket reached a peak altitude of 385.6 kilometers 315 seconds after launch during the 10-minute test flight.

In July 2001, SPACEHAB's Astrotech Space Operations sold the Oriole program to DTI Associates of Arlington, Virginia, which integrates the vehicle and offers it commercially.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).
Height: 11.00 m (36.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.56 m (1.83 ft).
Thrust: 258.00 kN (58,000 lbf).
Apogee: 370 km (220 mi).
First Launch: 2000.07.07.
Last Launch: 2011.09.01.
Number: 10 .

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
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...
  • 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

Terrier Oriole Chronology


2000 July 7 - . 10:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole.
2005 March 3 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole. LV Configuration: Terrier Oriole NASA 45.01DR.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

2008 November 20 - . 02:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole.
  • Aegis Target - . Nation: USA. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system target.

2009 October 13 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole. LV Configuration: Terrier Oriole Aegis target.
  • ARAV-B - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2009 October 16 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole. LV Configuration: Terrier Oriole Aegis target.
  • ARAV-B - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2009 October 16 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole. LV Configuration: Terrier Oriole Aegis target.
  • ARAV-B - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2011 January 22 - . 06:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole.
  • Aegis Target - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: ABM target..
  • Aegis Target - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2011 March 16 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole.
  • ARAV-B Target - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2011 September 1 - . 13:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Oriole.
  • ARAV - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi). Summary: Target for SM-3 Block IB interceptor..

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