Small Sounding Rockets
A fascinating look into the history of smaller sounding rockets from
1957 through 1973, lots of interesting facts, tons
Before the advent of weather satellites, weather forecasting was determined
by several daily launches of small meteorological sounding rockets throughout
the continental United States. These launches provided real-time data of
atmospheric conditions from 30-70 kilometers altitudes. The data was then
interpolated to give a weather forecast.
This review describes the design and development of meteorological sounding
rockets programs from the viewpoint of the engineers and scientists involved.
Their ingenuity and creativity formed the backbone for the industry.
The inception of sounding rocket history stem from the mid 1950's when
A.L. Pittinger envisioned the scrapped military LOKI program becoming a
modality for meteorological soundings above the altitude obtainable by
weather balloons, approximately 30 kilometers.
"It is surprising how little documentation exists on the early development
of Sounding Rockets. Dr. Morrow managed to locate most of those with sounding
rocket backgrounds who are still living. It is especially gratifying to
find Dr. Morrow investing his time and effort to recall this important
niche for posterity."
Charles T. Force
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