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Payload Launch

Suborbital Payload Launch


Infrastructure: Spaceports

Spaceport upgrades and new spaceport development are at an all-time high, with 40 active launch sites around the globe, 10 more in development in the United States, Sweden, Australia and Canada, and 13 more proposed in eight countries. . .

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Suborbital Payload Launch

Suborbital launch activity continued throughout 2017. For many nations and a few organizations, suborbital launches are an excellent and relatively inexpensive way to gain…

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2017 – Sounding Rockets – Snapshot

NASA’s Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO) uses sounding rockets as training tools for engineers and scientists, as well as for educating future engineers and scientists. The program provides . . .

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2016 – Sounding Rockets – Snapshot

Government sounding rocket programs, such as NASA’s Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO), use sounding rockets as training tools for future engineers and scientists. More launch opportunities…

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Sounding Rockets

Uncrewed suborbital vehicles, also called sounding rockets, come in diverse sizes and capabilities. They range from relatively small single-stage vehicles that carry payloads of a few dozen kilograms to altitudes of 160 kilometers (100 miles), to larger rockets that use up to four stages to lift several-hundred-kilogram payloads as high as 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles).

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2015 – Suborbital Payload Launch – Snapshot

The traditional suborbital launch vehicle, the sounding rocket, is uncrewed and launched in assorted configurations. From the very small to the extremely large, sounding rockets are used as an inexpensive and more accessible means for conducting experiments and observing space phenomena. During 2015, other types of suborbital vehicles moved into the suborbital launch domain.

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2015 – Sounding Rockets – Snapshot

NASA’s Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO) launches sounding rockets from locations such as Andøya, Norway; Esrange, Sweden; Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands; Poker Flats, Alaska; White Sands, New Mexico; and Wallops Island, Virginia. The suborbital nature of the sounding rockets makes them ideal platforms to conduct short near-Earth space science, astrophysics, and heliophysics experiments, as well as for testing new sensors and other burgeoning space technologies. SRPO arranges workshops with primary and secondary school teachers and provides internships to university students to familiarize them with engineering and science disciplines.

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2014 – Suborbital Payload Launch

Development of suborbital reusable launch vehicles and related technologies continued in 2014. The European Space Agency (ESA) conducted integration and qualification activities for all systems of its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), a re-entry vehicle that will demonstrate technologies and systems ESA intends to use in future autonomous re-entry missions.

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