For over 40 years the Sounding Rocket Program has provided critical scientific, technical, and educational contributions to the nation’s space program and is one of the most robust, versatile, and cost-effective flight programs at NASA.
Sounding rockets are small, low-cost flight opportunities to suborbital space.
Sixteen different sounding rocket vehicles, ranging from a single-stage Orion to a four-stage Black Brant XII, are available to support science research between 100 to 1400 kilometers into the atmosphere.
Sounding rockets are launched worldwide from both permanent and remote launch ranges. Wallops supports remote launch locations with mobile range assets to be able to support missions wherever the science is needed.
First used with sounding rockets flown in the 1950s, scientific research with experiments which inject vapor tracers in the upper atmosphere have greatly aided our understanding of our planet’s near-space environment.