This silent film shows set-up and launch of an Argo D-8 Sounding Rocket. The Argo-D8 (Journeyman) was a NASA developed four stage sounding rocket. It consisted of a Sergeant first stage boosted by two Recruit motors plus two tandem mounted Lance motor topped by an Altair (X-248) fourth stage. The first NASA use occured in 1960. Journeyman could lift 68 kg to 1600 km.
Sounding rockets are rockets that carry instruments into the upper atmosphere to investigate its nature and characteristics, gathering data from meteorological measurements at altitudes as low as 32 kilometers to data for ionospheric and cosmic physics at altitudes up to 6400 kilometers. Sounding rockets also flight-test instruments to be used in satellites. The term "sounding rocket" derived from the analogy to maritime soundings made of the ocean depths.
Sending measurement instruments into the high atmosphere was one of the principal motives for 20th century rocket development. This was the stated purpose of Dr. Robert H. Goddard in his rocket design studies as early as 1914.3 But it was not until 1945 that the first U.S. Government-sponsored sounding rocket was launched-the Wac Corporal, a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and U.S. Army Ordnance.
Sounding rockets played an important role in the International Geophysical Year (IGY), an 18-month period (1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958) coinciding with high solar activity. The IGY was an intensive investigation of the natural environment-the earth, the oceans, and the atmosphere-by 30 000 participants representing 66 nations. More than 300 instrumented sounding rockets launched from sites around the world made significant discoveries regarding the atmosphere, the ionosphere, cosmic radiation, auroras, and geomagnetism.
The International Years of the Quiet Sun (1 January 1964 to 31 December 1965), a full-scale follow-up to the IGY, was an intensive effort of geophysical observations in a period of minimum solar activity. Instrumented sounding rockets again played a significant role in the investigation of earth-sun interactions. By the end of 1974, some 20 countries had joined NASA in cooperative projects launching more than 1700 rockets from ranges in the United States and abroad.
Sounding rocket research gave rise to three new branches of astronomy-ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma ray. Experiments launched on rockets have characterized the main features of the earth's upper atmosphere and contributed the first recognition of the geocorona, knowledge of ionospheric chemistry, detection of electrical currents in the ionosphere, etc.
The name of a series of sounding rockets, "Argo" was from the name of Jason's ship in the ancient Greek myth of Jason's travels in search of the Golden Fleece. The first sounding rocket in this series, developed by the Aerolab Company (later a division of Atlantic Research Corporation), was called "Jason." Subsequent vehicles in the series were given names beginning with the letter "J": The Argo D-4 and Argo D-8 were named "Javelin" and "Journeyman." The "D-4" and "D-8" designations referred to the number of stages-"D" for "four"-and to the design revision-fourth and eighth. Argo D-4 (Javelin) was designed to carry 40- to 70-kilogram payloads to 800- to 11OO-kilometer altitudes. Argo D-8 (Journeyman) could carry 20- to 70-kilogram payloads to 1500- to 2100-kilometer altitudes. Javelin was still used by NASA in 1974, but Journeyman was discontinued in 1965. Javelin was also mated to the Nike first stage for heavier payloads.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com