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Small Sounding Rockets
by
Richard Morrow

A fascinating look into the history of smaller sounding rockets from 1957 through 1973, lots of interesting facts, tons of pictures!

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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