Encyclopedia Astronautica
Viking Type 9


American sounding rocket. Increased-diameter version of the basic Viking.

Vikings 1 to 7 were Model 1 versions, 583" x 32" x 110", capable of reaching 168 km. Subsequent Vikings were Model 2 or Type 9 versions, 583" x 45" x 160", capable of reaching 252 km.

Payload: 450 kg (990 lb) to a 250 km altitude. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1952-06-06. Last Fail Date: 1952-06-06.

AKA: Viking Model II; RTV-N-12a.
Gross mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb).
Payload: 450 kg (990 lb).
Height: 12.80 m (41.90 ft).
Diameter: 1.14 m (3.74 ft).
Span: 4.07 m (13.34 ft).
Thrust: 93.00 kN (20,907 lbf).
Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).
First Launch: 1952.06.06.
Last Launch: 1957.05.01.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Viking The Viking sounding rocket, originally code-named Neptune, was conceived in 1945 by the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as having the same altitude capability as the V-2 but only one third the mass. Martin was given the contract to develop the rocket, and Reaction Motors the engine. The advanced design featured a gimbaled pump-fed engine, a fuel tank integral with the fuselage. All rockets would be static-tested and certified before launch. The first launch was on 3 May 1949. Viking was abandoned in 1954 as too expensive, but Martin's experience on the design led to the first stage of the Vanguard orbital launch vehicle and the Titan ICBM. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC18A Viking, Vanguard, Scout launch complex. The LC18 complex included two launch pads 18A and 18B. Pad 18A was used to launch 14 Vanguard space vehicles for NASA and the U.S. Navy between 8 December 1956 and 19 September 1959. Following termination of the Vanguard program, Pad 18A supported ten Blue Scout Junior launches for the Air Force between 21 September 1960 and 10 June 1965. Complex 18 was deactivated on 1 February 1967. More...
  • White Sands LC33 Wac, Viking, V-2, Nike, Javelin, Hermes, Corporal, Atlas, Apache launch complex. LC 33 was the United States' first major rocket launch facility. The original Army Launch Area 1 complex consisted of a blockhouse, several concrete launching pads for captured German V-2 rockets, a 30-m tall launch tower for Aerobee rockets, a gantry and blast pit. More...

Associated Stages

Viking Type 9 Chronology


1952 June 6 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. Launch Pad: NLA. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 8. FAILURE: Failed on static firing. Accidentally launched during ground test..
  • Viking 8 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi). Summary: Surge in thrust ripped rocket from the two bolts holding it to the pad and it flew horizontally across the launch site. Reached 6 km..

1952 December 15 - . 21:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. Launch Pad: NLA. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 9.
  • Viking 9 Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi). Summary: Solar and cosmic radiation; photography research. Ran out of fuel. Launched at 1438 local time. Reached 219 km..

1954 May 7 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. Launch Pad: NLA. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 10.
  • Viking 10 Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 219 km (136 mi). Summary: Check power plant, controls, performance, and skin temperatures; upper-air pressure, density, winds, ionisation; cosmic rays; photography research. Launched at 1000 local time. Reached 219 km..

1954 May 24 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. Launch Pad: NLA. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 11.
  • Viking 11 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 254 km (157 mi). Summary: Re-entry nose-cone heat transfer experiment; photography research. Launched at 1000 local time. Reached 254 km. The rocket was turned by 180 degrees at apogee and the nose cone separated, diving back down into the atmosphere..

1955 February 4 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. Launch Pad: NLA. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 12.
  • Viking 12 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 231 km (143 mi). Summary: Re-entry nose-cone heat transfer experiment; photography; atmosphere research. Launched at 1455 local time. Reached 232 km..

1956 December 8 - . 06:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 13/TV0.
  • Vanguard TV0 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). First Vanguard test; re-entry studies; not a vertical firing. Launched at 0103 local time. First test rocket in the IGY-U.S. satellite program, a one-stage NRL Viking, attained an altitude of 176 km and a speed of 6,400 kph. Viking No. 13 carried a "minitrack" radio transmitter which was ejected at 80 km and tracked.

1957 May 1 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 14/TV1.
  • Vanguard TV1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 195 km (121 mi). Summary: Test of Vanguard third-stage separation and firing at altitude.Launched at 0129 local time..

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