Encyclopedia Astronautica
Terrier Orion Improved


Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Terrier + 1 x Improved Orion

The Terrier-Orion rocket system was a two stage spin stabilized rocket system which utilized a Terrier MK 12 Mod 1 for the first stage and an Improved Orion motor for the second stage. The vehicle was typically configured with spin motors and the total weight of this configuration, excluding the payload, was approximately 1305 kg.

The Orion motor utilized a clamp-released/load-bearing tail can to interface with the Terrier motor. This was a rail-launched configuration that can be supported at most fixed and mobile launch ranges.

Payload configurations supported by this vehicle included 36 cm and bulbous 44 cm diameters. Payload weights ranging from 90 to 360 kg could achieve altitudes of approximately 200 to 80 kilometers respectively.

Available support systems include thed standard 36 cm Ignition Recovery Module Assembly (IRMA), ACS systems, and nose cones of various configurations. The complete cadre of 44 cm diameter support systems was available for use with the bulbous payloads. These included fixed and deployable nose cones; fine, course, rate control, and magnetic ACS systems; separation and despin systems; and forward and aft recovery systems.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 1,315 kg (2,899 lb).
Height: 12.80 m (41.90 ft).
Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft).
Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).
First Launch: 1994.04.05.
Last Launch: 2007.09.06.
Number: 44 .

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...
  • Kwajalein The US military base located on this Pacific island group has major tracking facilities and is near the impact area for dummy warheads fired by ICBM's from Vandenberg AFB. It is a key test location for anti-ballistic missile systems. 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...
  • Arecibo Sounding rocket launch site near world's largest radio telescope, known to have been used for 40 launches from 1966 to 1998, reaching up to 375 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Anna Plains Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 4 launches in 1997, reaching up to 300 kilometers altitude. More...
  • White Sands LC36 Terrier, Redstone, Nike, Little Joe II, Honest John, Black Brant, Storm, Aries, Apollo LES launch complex. Originally designated Army Launch Area 2, LC36 was later a LC36 was a NASA facility that supported tests of the Apollo Launch Escape System. It was also used to launch NASA sounding rocket missions. The complex included a blockhouse, launch control equipment, and launchers with environmental shelters. These launchers included:
    • An 11-m rail with 3600 kg capacity
    • A 15-m rail with 11,000 kg capacity
    • A 50-m tower with 3600 kg capacity
    • A 1.2-m diameter stool with 23,000 kg capacity
    • A 9-m rail with 7000 kg capacity.
    More...

Associated Stages
  • Improved Orion-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 400 kg. Thrust 13.00 kN. The Improved Orion motor was a bi-phase propellant system that results in thrust levels of approximately 84.5 kN during the first four seconds of motor burn then trailing off to approximately 13.3 kN until burnout around 25 seconds. The fins were generally configured to provide a burn out spin rate of four cycles per second. More...

Terrier Orion Improved Chronology


1994 April 5 - . 18:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 12.046WT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1995 June 30 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 12.47WT.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1996 November 17 - . 13:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.005GP.
1997 August 8 - . 13:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.11UE. FAILURE: Failure.
  • COORS / ROCKI (CRISTA) Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1997 September 2 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Anna Plains. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.14DT.
  • DUNDEE 1 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1997 September 5 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Anna Plains. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.15DT.
  • DUNDEE 2 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1997 September 10 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Anna Plains. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.16DT.
  • DUNDEE 3 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1997 September 11 - . 20:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Anna Plains. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.17DT.
  • DUNDEE 4 (MSX) Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1997 November 5 - . 20:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.04IE.
1998 February 25 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.08UE.
  • EDDY Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 128 km (79 mi).

1999 December 17 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.020NM.
  • MG. Pool Boiling Microgravity mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

2000 October 13 - . 14:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.021DP.
2003 March 25 - . 10:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC3. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.034UE.
  • HEX V Aurora / chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

2003 March 27 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC5. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.028UE. FAILURE: Failure.
  • JOULE Aurora / chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

2003 March 27 - . 12:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Complex: Poker Flat LC2. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.029UE.
  • JOULE Aurora / chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

2003 June 30 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.036UE.
  • Release M / Dtr Aeronomy / Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

2003 June 30 - . 05:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.037UE.
  • Release M / Dtr Aeronomy / Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi).

2003 June 30 - . 07:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.038UE.
  • Release M / Dtr Aeronomy / Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi).

2003 July 15 - . 07:02 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.025UE.
  • CWAS Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2003 July 15 - . 07:32 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.024UE.
  • CWAS Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2003 October 3 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.035UE.
  • SPIRIT 2 Aeronomy / Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 August 7 - . 09:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.043UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 August 7 - . 09:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.045UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 August 15 - . 08:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.044UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 August 15 - . 08:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.046UE. FAILURE: Failure.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2004 August 27 - . 22:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.041UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 September 7 - . 23:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.048UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 September 17 - . 08:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.047UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2004 September 20 - . 23:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.042UE.
  • EQUIS II Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2005 November 14 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.66DR.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2005 November 18 - . 20:13 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.67DR.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2006 April 5 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.068NT.
  • Descent imagery / RSO Planetary test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

2006 May 22 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 12.58GT.
2006 June 5 - . 16:05 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.073DR.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2006 June 7 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.071DR.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2006 June 8 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.074DR.
  • DUNDEE target Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2006 June 23 - . 23:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.072DR.
  • MDA TRACKEX Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; NAWC. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2006 July 1 - . 06:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.056UO.
  • ESPRIT (SPIRIT 3) Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 January 19 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.064UE.
  • JOULE II Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 January 19 - . 12:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.065UE.
  • JOULE II Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

2007 June 21 - . 05:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 12.059GT.
  • Star tracker / ACS test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2007 August 3 - . 22:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.069.
  • MASS 1 (NLCs) Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2007 August 6 - . 22:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.070.
  • MASS 2 (NLCs) Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

2007 September 6 - . 21:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion Improved. LV Configuration: Terrier Improved Orion NASA 41.055NP.
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