Encyclopedia Astronautica
Aerojet


American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA.

Aerojet was founded in 1942 in Pasadena, California by a small group of California Institute of Technology pioneering rocket scientists led by Dr. Theodore von Karman. These scientists were the inventors of the solid propellant rocket and the leaders in American liquid fuel rocket technology. The company's first products were Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) rocket motors during World War II.

The expansion of military missile and space programs in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in boom times for Aerojet and construction by the company of the Western world's largest site for rocket engine development, testing, and production near Sacramento. In this heady period Aerojet expanded into space electronics, military ordnance, and even naval and computer systems. Only the propulsion, space electronics and ordnance divisions continued into the 1970's and 1980's.

Aerojet was undoubtedly the more innovative of the two leading American rocket engine companies. But as is usually the case, it lost most major space engine competitions to its less innovative but better-connected competitor, Rocketdyne.

In 2001 Aerojet sold its space electronics division, and thereafter acquired competitors in its core rocket propulsion area. These included General Dynamics' Space Systems business in Redmond, Washington, and the propulsion business of Atlantic Research Corporation in Gainesville, Virginia.

Aerojet developed the ultra-reliable storable propellant rocket engines used in the manned Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Orion spacecraft. These never experienced an in-flight failure. Its main engine systems were used in the Titan booster series, but production of these was completed in 2000.

Location: Sacramento, CA.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Kimball Kimball, Dan Able (1896-1970) American businessman, Vice President of Sales at General Tire, before becoming Head of Aerojet, 1944-1969, transforming it from an undisciplined group of rocket enthusiasts to the second largest US rocket engine manufacturer. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • FIRST Re-Entry Glider American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1960. FIRST (Fabrication of Inflatable Re-entry Structures for Test) used an inflatable Rogallo wing for emergency return of space crew from orbit. More...
  • Re-Entry Glider-Six Crew American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. A six-man parasail escape system was studied as an elaboration of the single-crew system. It was to provide rescue from manned spacecraft as well as stations. More...
  • OV3 American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1966.04.22 (OV3-01) to 1967.12.05 (OV3-06). The OV3 GUS General Utility Satellite were built for the Air Force as part of the OV3 satellite series. More...

Associated Engines
  • 21AL-2600 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Nike Ajax. Launch thrust 11.7 kN. Development begun January 1946. Regeneratively cooled. Development and production First flight 1953. More...
  • 25AL-1000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. A-20 ATO. Launch thrust 4.41 kN. Development begun May 1942. Production version of GALCIT unit. First flight 1944. More...
  • 25XALD-1000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. JATO, Droppable for P-38, B-24, and B-25J. Thrust 4.41 kN. Development begun May 1942. Droppable version of XLR1, packaged compactly with parachute. First flight 1944. More...
  • 300LR-200 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. XP-79 Launch thrust .882 kN. Development begun January 1943. Planned successor to XCALT-6000, developed under 'Project X' for the Northrop XP-79 Flying Wing rocket fighter. First flight 1945. More...
  • 30AL-1000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. GAPA. Launch thrust 4.41 kN. Development begun March 1947. Boeing surface-to-air missile, which would evolve into Bomarc and reach IOC in 1959. More...
  • 38ALDW-1500 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. ATO Seaplanes. Launch thrust 6.66 kN. Development begun July 1943. Regeneratively cooled. Also a few 45ALDW-1500 were built. Droppable version. First flight 1945. More...
  • 40ALD-3000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. B-29 droppable ATO. Launch thrust 13.33 kN. Development begun October 1943. Droppable version, pressure fed, regeneratively cooled, supplied with 331 kg of propellant. First flight 1945. More...
  • 40XAL-4000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. PB2Y-3 ATO. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Development begun July 1943. Gasoline engine driven pumps. Also 40ALD-6000 and 60ALD-8000 versions First flight 1945. More...
  • 45AL-2600 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Aerobee B. Launch thrust 11.7 kN. Development begun June 1948. Manufacture of complete Aerobee systems First flight 1955. More...
  • 45LR-35000 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. Bomarc. Out of Production. Launch thrust 159.583 kN. Development begun 1953. Pressure-fed, uncooled, ceramic-lined engine. First flight 1959. More...
  • A1P-1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Polaris stage 1. More...
  • A1P-2 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Polaris stage 2. More...
  • A2P-1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Polaris stage 1. More...
  • A3P-1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Polaris stage 1. More...
  • Aerojet SRB Aerojet solid rocket engine. 1270 kN. In production. Isp=275s. First flight 2002. More...
  • Aerobee Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Aerobee. Development begun December 1947. Research with high altitude vehicle as carriers of scientific information. More...
  • Aerojet 2 Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 2 N. In Production. Mixture Ratio(O/F): 1.65. Isp=265s. More...
  • Aerojet 21 Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 0.021 kN. In Production. Mixture Ratio(O/F): 1.60. Isp=285s. More...
  • Aerojet 445 Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 0.445 kN. In Production. Mixture Ratio(O/F): 1.65. Isp=309s. More...
  • Aerojet 62 Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 0.062 kN. In Production. Mixture Ratio(O/F): 1.65. Isp=287s. More...
  • AJ-260X 1/3 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 11,143 kN. Design concept 1960's. Isp=263s. More...
  • AJ-260X Aerojet solid rocket engine. 35,390.7 kN. Study 1967. Full length version of 260 inch motor tested in 1960's. Proposed for use in various Saturn and Nova configurations. Isp=263s. More...
  • AJ-260-2 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 17,695.3 kN. Study 1965. Isp=263s. 260 inch solid rocket booster half length. The version tested and also proposed for use as a first stage with the Saturn IVB. More...
  • AJ-260-1/3 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 10,105 kN. Design concept 1960's. Isp=275s. Used on Saturn INT-05B launch vehicle. More...
  • AJ-60C Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 280 kN. Design 2000. Isp=470s. Design announced on 3 October 2000 for a new cryogenic upper-stage engine aimed at the very large commercial spacecraft market. More...
  • AJ10-40 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 34.690 kN. Isp=270s. Minor modification of the Vanguard aluminum tube thrust chamber to meet the Able requirements. accomplished in the record time of only three months. More...
  • AJ10-101 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 34.3 kN. Isp=270s. Derivative of Vanguard second stage for use with Thor IRBM to produce satellite launch vehicle. First tests February 21, 1958. Flown through 1960. More...
  • AJ10-51 Aerojet rocket engine. 666 kN. Sled. Thrust variable to 33% indicated. More...
  • AJ10-33 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 509 kN. SMART Sled. Development begun early 1950s. 114,000 Ibf thrust, uncooled, ceramic lined, 3 chamber system More...
  • AJ10-28 Aerojet Nitric acid/JP-X rocket engine. 156 kN. SNORT Sled. Development begun early 1950s. 35,000 Ibf thrust, 2-10 second duration. JP-X was a jet fuel / hydrazine mixture. More...
  • AJ10-118H Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 43.414 kN. Delta H. Isp=319s. More...
  • AJ10-118E Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 35.1 kN. Isp=278s. Used on Delta E, Delta G, Delta J, Delta L, Delta M, Delta N upper stages. First flight 1965. More...
  • AJ10-118D Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 33.7 kN. Isp=278s. Used on Delta B, Delta C, Delta D upper stages. First flight 1962. More...
  • AJ10-118 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 33.8 kN. Out of Production. Isp=271s. Engine originally developed for the Vanguard launch vehicle, and then for use on the Able and Delta upper stages and as the Apollo Service module engine. Flown 1957-1962. More...
  • AJ10-104 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 35.1 kN. Isp=278s. Stainless steel version of the basic Able engine, uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times First flight 1960. More...
  • AJ10-118G Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 43.414 kN. Delta G. Isp=314s. More...
  • AJ10-118K Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 43.4 kN. Isp=321s. Pressure-fed engine, optimized for altitude operation, used in Delta K stage from 1989. Not regeneratively cooled; used a rubber modified silica phenolic ablative at the combustion flame front. More...
  • AJ10-131 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 9.8 kN. Subscale Apollo SPS. Subscale Apollo SPS More...
  • AJ10-137 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 97.5 kN. Apollo SPS. Out of Production. Pressure-fed engine. Used as Apollo SM engine. Isp=312s. More...
  • AJ10-138 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 35.6 kN. Out of production. Originally developed for Vanguard and Able. Two used, thrust uprated from 3540 kgf to 3628 kgf, with higher specific impulse, in Transtage. Isp=311s. Flown 1964-1980. More...
  • AJ10-196 Aerojet rocket engine. 40.1 kN. Liquid Throttling Engine. Liquid Throttling Engine More...
  • AJ10-118F Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 41.4 kN. Isp=306s. Used on Delta upper stage for Delta 0100, Delta 1000, N-2 boosters. First flight 1972. More...
  • AJ11-6 Aerojet Nitric acid/aniline rocket engine. 17.8 kN. Typical ideal dV=3839 m/s; gravity and drag losses = 1012 m/s. More...
  • AJ23-144 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3020 kN. Booster (Pre-Development, Staged Combustion, 4000 psi). Pre-Development, Staged Combustion, 272 atm More...
  • AJ23-145 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3020 kN. Booster (Pre-Development, Staged Combustion, 4000 psi, LOX/RJ-5 or LH2, Single Stage). Pre-Development, Staged Combustion, 272 atm, LOX/RJ-5 or LH2, Single Stage More...
  • AJ23-143 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 2213.850 kN. Booster. Pre-Development, Staged Combustion, 204 atm More...
  • AJ23-142 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 424.6 kN. Booster. ARES - Staged Combustion More...
  • AJ23-141 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 222.410 kN. Upper Stage. MIST - Staged Combustion. More...
  • AJ23-127 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1010 kN. Booster. The AJ23 was a series of high-performance staged combusion engine designs. None ever made it to production. The -127 featured a gas generator cycle, 56 atm More...
  • AJ23-147 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 994.3 kN. Booster. Gas generator cycle, 55 atm More...
  • AJ60-91 Aerojet rocket engine. 72.324 kN. Aerobee 350. Aerobee motor. Four Chambers More...
  • Alcor Aerojet solid rocket engine. Originally developed for the Air Force as a third Stage for the Athena sounding rocket; in some applications known as Zebra. One of its main attractions was a very high mass fraction First flight 1960. More...
  • Algol 1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 470.9 kN. Isp=236s. This rocket started as a Polaris test motor with a 40 inch diameter, which at the time was the largest solid motor ever tested. First flight 1960. More...
  • Ares Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 440 kN. SSTO ICBM. Development 1968. Isp=370s. Advanced Rocket Engine System - single shaft turbopump, integrated single pressure vessel in a staged combustion cycle configuration. More...
  • Centrojet Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. R&D. Launch thrust 2.25 kN. Work begun June 1943. Torque to rotate the main shaft of the propellant pumps was developed by the canted engine nozzles themselves at the aft end of the shaft. Abandoned 1945. More...
  • Hustler APU Aerojet isopropylnitrate monopropellant rocket engine. B-58. Development begun 1953. APU for the Hustler 'controlled bomb pod', which was really a long range air to surface strategic missile More...
  • JIC Aerojet rocket engine. 10.680 kN. JIC. Classified application More...
  • LR56 Aerojet storable liquid engine. F8U-3F. Aerojet was considered as the supplier for a liquid rocket superperformance engine for the F8U-3. It is not known to have reached test stage. More...
  • LR87-7 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 1086.1 kN. Study 1961. Version of LR-87-5 used on Gemini Titan 2 launch vehicle. Isp=296s. Proposed for unflown Titan 3L2, Titan 3L4 boosters. First flight 1962. More...
  • LR87-9 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. Launch thrust 956.1 kN. Variant of LR-87 used on early versions of Titan III B,C First flight 1966. More...
  • LR87-5 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 1096.8 kN. Out of Production. Isp=297s. Used on Titan 2 launch vehicle. Engines refurbished for space launcher versions from decommissioned missiles between 1974-1982. More...
  • LR87-3 Aerojet Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 733.9 kN. Study 1957. Titan 1 booster engine. Surplus Flight Engines were available for various uses in the 1960's. Isp=290s. First flight 1959. More...
  • LR87-11 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 1218.8 kN. Out of production. Isp=302s. Powered Titan 3 and 4 first stages. Replaced the -9 model, first flown 1968. First flight 1964. More...
  • LR87+ Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 1634.4 kN. Study 1965. Nominal improved LR87 in booster studies. Isp=293s. Used on Martin Astrorocket launch vehicle. More...
  • LR87 Alumizine Aerojet N2O4/Alumizine rocket engine. 1960's USAF development effort for a Titan storable engine using a metallized fuel (for greater impulse density) and gelled propellants (to facilitate in-space starts after a period of coasting). More...
  • LR87 LH2 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 667 kN. Development ended 1961. Version of the Titan engine, and first large Lox/LH2 engine fired in the world. 52 static tests. But NASA selected Rocketdyne instead to develop the J-2 engine for Saturn from scratch. More...
  • LR87-11 AJ23-138 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. Launch thrust 1008.31 kN. Version of LR-87-11 tuned for launch pad ignition when used on Titan 3B. First flight 1966. More...
  • LR91-11 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 467 kN. Out of production. Isp=316s. Second stage engine for Titan 3 and 4. First flight 1968. More...
  • LR91-3 Aerojet Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 355.9 kN. Development begun 1957. Titan 1 Stage 2 major production version. Isp=308s. Proposed for second stage of Juno V-A, Super-Jupiter in 1959. Flown 1959-1965. More...
  • LR91-5 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 444.8 kN. Titan 2 ICBM Stage 2. Out of Production. Isp=315s. Scaled down version of stage 1 engine featuring fixed single chamber. Gas generator cycle. First flight 1962. More...
  • LR91-7 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 444.8 kN. Study 1961. Version used on Stage 2 of Gemini Titan 2 Launch Vehicle. Isp=316s. Proposed for unflown Titan 3L2, Titan 3L4 boosters. First flight 1962. More...
  • LR91-9 Aerojet N2O4/Aerozine-50 rocket engine. 448.605 kN. Titan III B, C, D. Out of Production. Version used in earlier versions of Titan 3 upper stages. Isp=316s. First flight 1965. More...
  • M-1 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 5335.9 kN. Study 1961. Isp=428s. Engine developed 1962-1966 for Uprated Saturn and Nova million-pound payload boosters to support manned Mars missions. Reached component test stage before cancellation. More...
  • M56A-1 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 228.5 kN. Out of Production. Used in Aries. Isp=297s. More...
  • OME Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 26.7 kN. Study 1972. Isp=316s. Engine used in Shuttle Orbiter Orbital Maneuvering System pods, for orbit insertion, maneuvering, and re-entry initiation. First flight 1981. More...
  • Orion Aerojet solid rocket engine. 13 kN. Improved Orion motor was a bi-phase propellant system with thrust levels of 84.5 kN during the first four seconds of motor burn, trailing off to 13.3 kN at burnout at 25 seconds. More...
  • Sea Dragon-1 Aerojet Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 356,9 kN. Design, 1962. Isp=290s. Truax pressure fed design. Thrust, chamber pressure varied during ascent. More...
  • Sea Dragon-2 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 62,270 kN. Design, 1962. Truax pressure fed design. Diameter of extended nozzle 30 m. Specific impulse estimated from booster performance figures. Isp=320s. More...
  • SR-19 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 267.7 kN. Minuteman 2 2nd stage. In production. Second stage of Minuteman 2. Surplus motors used as second stage of Minotaur launch vehicle and various SDI targets in 1980's. Isp=287s. First flight 2000. More...
  • SR105 Aerojet solid rocket engine. 12.75" Improved FFAR . More...
  • SR115 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Maverick AGM-65. More...
  • SR116 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Sidewinder AIM-9J/P. More...
  • SR73 Aerojet solid rocket engine. Minuteman 1 LGM-30 3rd stage. More...
  • Transtar Aerojet N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 16.7 kN. Development completed 1987. Isp=328s. Upper stage engine using injectors, chamber, and nozzle derived from the Shuttle OMS system, but pump-fed for increased chamber pressure and Isp. Tested; no production. More...
  • Truax LH2 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 147.1 kN. Test 1962. Used in Sea Horse-2. Isp=425s. More...
  • X35AL-6000 Aerojet rocket engine. PB2Y-3 ATO. Launch thrust 26.77 kN. Development begun November 1942. More...
  • X4-AL-1000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Brake rocket for G-4A. Launch thrust 4.41 kN. Braking rocket for glider. Single uncooled chamber, pressure fed, 13 kg of propellant. More...
  • X45ALD-4000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. B-29 ATO. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Development begun June 1948. Regenerative cooling, nitrogen pressure-fed, droppable but no recoverable. Early version using XLR-13-AJ-1 thrust chamber assembly. More...
  • X60AL-1300 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. P-51 superperformance. Launch thrust 5.78 kN. Development begun January 1945. Superperformance More...
  • X60ALD-4000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. ATO for XB-45, B-45A. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Development begun May 1946. Pressurising tank surrounded propellant tanks. Regeneratively cooled. Parachute for dropping and recovery after takeoff. More...
  • X90ALT-60000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Launch thrust 264 kN. Development begun April 1947. Unspecified Application, 20,000 Ibf subscale tested, new vertical test facility More...
  • XASR-1 Aerojet Nitric acid/aniline rocket engine. 11.6 kN. More...
  • XCALR-2000A-1 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine for XP-79 Northrop Flying Wing. Thrust 9.12 kN. Aerotojet, a pair of canted 130 kgf thrust chambers mounted longitudinally on a drive shaft, which drove the turbopumps. Developed 1943-1945; blew up on first test. More...
  • XCALT-6000 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Thrust 26.67 kN. Conservative alternate to Aerotojet for XP-79 flying wing rocket fighter. Successfully tested in August 1945, but project cancelled. Regeneratively cooled, 4 thrust chambers, pump-fed. More...
  • XCNLT-1500 Aerojet isopropylnitrate monopropellant rocket engine. Lark. Launch thrust 6.66 kN. Development begun March 1945. Turborocket; turbine-pump fed monopropellant, single uncooled thrust chamber. Development unsuccessful, all work terminated. More...
  • XLR13-AJ-7 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Modification of -AJ-1. Regeneratively cooled by fuel, droppable. More...
  • XLR13-AJ-5 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. B-29 ATO. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Development begun June 1948. Ceramic chamber and nozzle, nitrogen pressure-fed, droppable but no recoverable. More...
  • XLR20AJ-2 Aerojet Nitric acid/Gasoline rocket engine. Lark. Launch thrust 6.66 kN. Development begun January 1946. Blast turbine, three levels of thrust (600/1000/7500 lbf). Replaced NM Lark. More...
  • XLR24AJ-2 Aerojet Nitric acid/Gasoline rocket engine. Lark. Launch thrust 10.7 kN. Development begun January 1946. Blast turbine, 2500 Ibf fixed thrust (both were part of overall R&D contract) More...
  • XLR53AJ-1 Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. F-80. Out of Production. Launch thrust 4.41 kN. Development begun 1949. Superperformance, wing tip mounted, regenerative cooling, pressure fed, 240 sec duration, 1000 Ibf thrust each. More...
  • YLR45-AJ-1 Aerojet Nitric acid/Kerosene rocket engine. B-47C ATO. Out of Production. Development begun August 1948. Turbojet engine bleed air drive for turbopump. Fixed internal acid tanks, regenerative cooling. More...
  • YLR45AJ-3 Aerojet Nitric acid/Kerosene rocket engine. F-84 ATO. Out of Production. Development begun 1948. Bleed air drive, droppable acid tanks, ceramic chamber with oval throat, 60 second duration, reusable 50 times More...
  • YLR63AJ-3 Aerojet Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. F-86. Out of Production. Development begun 1953. Superperformance, modification of YLR45AJ-3 with gas generator turbine drive, 6 restarts. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • JATO American sounding rocket. JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) rockets came in many types and were used to shorten the takeoff of aircraft in short field or overload conditions. They were among the first practical applications of rocketry, and much early development of rocket technology by JPL, Aerojet, Goddard, and others was devoted to JATO applications. More...
  • Private American test vehicle. At request of Army Ordnance, Cal Tech's rocket laboratory developed the first US long-range missiles. Project ORDCIT resulted in development of the Private A and Corporal missiles. At Camp Irwin, Calif., 24 Private A rockets were launched by JPL, only 11 months after the start of Project ORDCIT. This rocket technology that led to later operational Corporal and Sergeant missiles. More...
  • Aerobee RTV-N-8 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee American sounding rocket. In late 1945 James Van Allen was assigned by John Hopkins University to survey sounding rocket requirements for upper atmosphere research. The V-2 was found to be too heavy and complex. In 1946 Van Allen decided that what was needed was a small rocket, derived from the Aerojet Wac Corporal and the Bumblebee missile developed under a US Navy program. This combination of an Aerojet booster and a Bumblebee second stage was dubbed the Aerobee. Aerobees were launched for 53 m tall launch towers to provide the necessary stability until enough speed had been gained for the fins to be effective in controlling the rocket. Launch towers were built at White Sands, Fort Churchill, Wallops Island, and aboard the research ship USN Norton Sound. The Aerobee could take 68 kg to 130 km altitude. More...
  • Aerobee XASR-SC-1 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-A-1 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-N-10 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee XASR-SC-2 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-A-1b American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee XASR-1 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-A-1a American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-25 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-N-10b American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-24 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-N-10c American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-34 More...
  • Aerobee Hi American sounding rocket. Aerobee Hi was a development of the basic Aerobee with longer propellant tanks, improved materials, a better propellant fraction, and smaller fins. 9.3 m l x 0.39 m dia. The booster stage fired for 2.5 seconds and took the rocket to 270 m altitude and 820 kph. The upper stage then fired for 25 seconds, burning out at 40 km altitude travelling at 6400 kph. Thereafter the payload would coast up to 270 km altitude before falling back toward earth. More...
  • Aerobee AJ10-27 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-27 More...
  • Aerobee RTV-N-10a American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-25 More...
  • HJ Nike American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike More...
  • Loki American unguided solid-propellant barrage anti-aircraft rocket adapted to use as a meteorological sounding rocket. More...
  • Aerobee AJ10-34 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-34 More...
  • Lobber American surface-to-surface missile. In 1955 Convair undertook a small R&D program to develop a resupply missile that would deliver supplies and communications equipment to surrounded or isolated Army field units. More...
  • Aerobee AJ10-25 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee AJ10-25 More...
  • Aerobee 100 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee 100 More...
  • Aerobee 300 American sounding rocket. The Aerobee 300, also called the Sparrowbee, consisted of an Aerobee 150 or Aerobee 180 lower stage with a 20 cm diameter Sparrow rocket as an upper stage. The Sparrow would ignite at 35 km altitude at 53 seconds into the flight, and boost the payload to 10,000 kph, allowing it to coast up to 420 km apogee. The rocket was designed for studies of the sun above the atmosphere and was only fired from Fort Churchill (the White Sands range was too small to cover the possible impact points of the high-altitude rocket). More...
  • Viper American sounding rocket. Single stage sounding rocket developed as a follow-on to the Loki-Dart. More...
  • Aerobee 150 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee 150. More...
  • Javelin American sounding rocket. The four-stage Javelin rocket was originally known as the Argo D-4 and was developed by the Air Force to replace its Jason rocket with the mission of measuring radiation in space after high-altitude nuclear explosions. It was subsequently used by NASA for a variety of high-altitude near-space scientific experiments. More...
  • Astrobee American sounding rocket. Aerojet-designed family of sounding rockets conceived as a lower-cost replacement of the liquid-propellant Aerobee. More...
  • Astrobee 500 American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Genie + 1 x Alcor + 1 x Asp More...
  • Aerobee 150A American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Aerobee Booster + 1 x Aerobee 150A More...
  • Aerobee 300A American sounding rocket. Aerobee 300A used a four-fin Aerobee 150A second stage rather than the older three-fin 150. More...
  • Viper Falcon American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Viper I + 1 x Falcon More...
  • PWN-10 American sounding rocket, equipping the Loki-Dart payload with a radar transponder, in turn requiring the larger Super Loki motor to reach the same altitude. More...
  • PWN-8 American sounding rocket. In the early 1960s, the low-cost Loki-Dart sounding rockets could only carry a passive chaff payload to high altitude. For more sophisticated payloads like temperature transmitters, the USAF had to use the significantly more expensive Arcas. The Space Data Corporation (SDC) was founded in 1963 with the goal to develop a meteorological instrument package small enough to fit into the 3.5 cm (1.38 in) diameter darts of the Loki-Dart systems. More...
  • Astrobee 1500 American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 2 x Recruit + 1 x Aerojet Jr + 1 x Alcor More...
  • Astrobee 200 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Genie + 1 x Alcor More...
  • Nike Javelin American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Javelin More...
  • Nike Javelin 3 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Javelin 3 More...
  • Nike Iroquois American sounding rocket. Aerojet developed the Nike-Iroquois (also called Niro) to fulfill a US Air Force requirement for a low-cost sounding rocket with roll control and high structural strength. More...
  • Aerobee 350 American sounding rocket. In March 1957 an Aerojet engineer conceived of the 'ultimate Aerobee', with the body diameter increased to 46 cm diameter and powered by four engines. The design found no takers until it was pitched to NASA in 1961 and development was authorised. The final configuration selected used a Nike Ajax missile booster, 56 cm in diameter, followed by the Aerobee 350, equipped with 4 Aerobee 150A engines. The rocket could take 65 kg to 480 km altitude or 455 kg to 240 km altitude. More...
  • HJ Nike Javelin American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Javelin 3 More...
  • HJ Nike Hydac American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Nike + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Nike Hydac American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Viper-Dart American sounding rocket. Single stage sounding rocket that delivered a 1-m diameter inflatable sphere to 90 km to meaure winds aloft. More...
  • Super Loki American sounding rocket. Larger-diameter version of single-stage Loki sounding rocket, developed originally for NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center. More...
  • Aerobee 170 American sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket consisting of a solid Nike booster paired with an Aerobee 150 liquid-propellant second stage. More...
  • Aerobee 170B American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Aerobee 150 More...
  • Aerobee 170A American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x Aerobee 150 More...
  • Astrobee F American sounding rocket. Single stage solid-fueled dual-thrust rocket replacement for the Aerobee 150. More...
  • Aerobee 200A American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x AJ60-92 More...
  • Super Chief American sounding rocket. Series of large sounding rockets developed by Aerojet Space Data using the Talos booster, various upper stages, and Astrobee electronics. More...
  • Aerobee 200 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Nike + 1 x AJ60-92 More...
  • Sergeant Hydac American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Sergeant + 1 x Hydac More...
  • PWN-12 American sounding rocket. The was another sounding rocket using the Super Loki booster. It used a dart with a ROBIN (Rocket Balloon Instrument) Inflatable Falling Sphere payload. More...
  • HJ Hydac American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M-6 + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Talos Sergeant Hydac American sounding rocket. Three stage sounding rocket consisting of 1 x Talos booster + 1 x Sergeant + 1 x Hydac More...
  • Talos Castor American sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket consisting of 1 x Talos booster + 1 x Castor More...
  • HJ Javelin American sounding rocket. NASA/Canadian four-stage sounding rocket could reach altitudes of 850 km. More...
  • Viper 3A American sounding rocket. The Viper 3A/10D Dart was a two stage sounding rocket vehicle consisting of a solid propellant Viper 3A rocket motor as the first stage and a non-propulsive Dart containing the payload as the second stage. More...
  • Space Data LCLV American sounding rocket. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x Sergeant + 1 x M57A1 More...
  • HPB American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x M56A1 More...
  • Starbird American test vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x Sergeant + 1 x Orbus 1 + 1 x Orbus 1 More...
  • PWN-11 American sounding rocket. Version of the PWN-10 with a smaller payload dart without the transponder. More...

Associated Stages
  • A1P-1 Solid rocket stage. Mass 8,300 kg (18,298 lb). More...
  • A2P-1 Solid rocket stage. Mass 10,100 kg (22,267 lb). More...
  • A3P-1 Solid rocket stage. Mass 11,100 kg (24,471 lb). More...
  • Able-Star Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,497/599 kg. Thrust 36.02 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 280 seconds. The Air Force requested increases in the propulsion system capabilities of the original Able upper stage design in an effort to meet their ever-expanding mission requirements. As a result, the stainless steel version of the basic Able engine was selected, and it was uprated to increase thrust 34.7 kN to 37.0 kN and to increase the duration 2-1/2 times (easily done with the stainless steel thrust chamber) - and this configuration was called Ablestar. More...
  • Able Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,884/429 kg. Thrust 34.69 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 270 seconds. Engine for Vanguard was AJ10-37; for later Able models AJ10-41 and AJ10-42. Total of 21 stages built and delivered by Aerojet. More...
  • Aerobee 75-1 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 500/142 kg. Thrust 13.00 kN. More...
  • Aerobee 350-2 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,000/1,050 kg. Thrust 72.00 kN. More...
  • Aerobee 150A-2 Nitric acid/Amine propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 611/133 kg. Thrust 17.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 209 seconds. Nitric acid/Aniline propellants. Typical ideal dV=3839 m/s; gravity and drag losses = 1012 m/s. More...
  • Aerobee 150-2 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700/133 kg. Thrust 17.80 kN. More...
  • Aerobee 100-2 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 500/119 kg. Thrust 11.50 kN. More...
  • AJ60-92 Nitric acid/Aniline propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 700/131 kg. Thrust 22.60 kN. More...
  • Alcor IB Solid rocket stage. 42.00 kN (9,442 lbf) thrust. Mass 500 kg (1,102 lb). More...
  • Alcor IA Solid rocket stage. 49.00 kN (11,016 lbf) thrust. Mass 500 kg (1,102 lb). More...
  • Astrobee F-1 Solid rocket stage. 36.40 kN (8,183 lbf) thrust. Mass 1,300 kg (2,866 lb). More...
  • 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...
  • LRALT-2 Solid rocket stage. 267.70 kN (60,181 lbf) thrust. Mass 7,032 kg (15,503 lb). More...
  • Peacekeeper-2 Solid rocket stage. 1365.00 kN (306,864 lbf) thrust. Mass 27,800 kg (61,289 lb). More...
  • SICBM-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 5,000 kg. Thrust 267.00 kN. More...
  • SR73 Solid rocket stage. 152.00 kN (34,171 lbf) thrust. Mass 3,600 kg (7,937 lb). More...
  • Super Loki Solid rocket stage. 18.00 kN (4,047 lbf) thrust. Mass 30 kg (66 lb). More...
  • Viper 3A-1 Solid rocket stage. 25.00 kN (5,620 lbf) thrust. Mass 35 kg (77 lb). More...

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