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AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
Research at Wallops Station, established in 1945 on the Atlantic Coast of Virginia, is directed primarily toward gathering information about earth's atmosphere and its near-space environment. Information obtained as a result of Wallops research is freely distributed to the world scientific community. The station is located about 40 miles southeast of Salisbury, Maryland. Since 1945, Wallops station has launched more than 6,000 research vehicles. Consisting of from one to seven rocket stages, these vehicles are used to gather scientific information on the flight characteristics of airplanes, launch vehicles and spacecraft and to increase our knowledge of the upper atmosphere and space environment. Some 300 experiments are sent aloft each year. The launch
Aerial view of NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia, rocket launch site. A great many of this nation's international rocket launchings are conducted here.
vehicles used vary in size and power from the small Arcas and Hasp meteorological rockets to the fourstage Scout with orbital capability. In addition to supporting rocket-propelled ex-
periments, Wallops uses its facilities for numerous other research projects, such as space component tests utilizing helicopter or aircraft drops; slow speed landing radar tracking Wallops' NASA-sponsored plorer satellites, Meteorological techniques of aircraft for jet aircraft; and satellites. management laser and of several
projects, such as University Exthe Experimental Inter-American Rocket Network (EXAMETNET), a
Bio-Space Technology Training Program, and implementation of remote site launching and tracking facilities -for example, a Mobile Range Facility and an Arctic launch site at Point Barrow, Alaska.
Most of the
in the following
A considerable number of the experiments are designed to obtain scientific information on the flight characteristics of vehicles and spacecraft and aerodynamic data related to aerospace flight. For example, experiments in the reentry physics pro-
A Scout rocket vehicle on its launching stand is ready for firing.
Wallops Station, Virginia, overall site map indicating highway approaches to this NASA Atlantic coast rocket station.
gram are flown on the Scout vehicle and other multistage configurations. Data are being obtained for design, construction, and instrumentation of manned spacecraft of the Apollo type to be used in lunar and interplanetary missions, and which will reenter the atmosphere at much greater speeds than earth-orbiting vehicles. COMPONENTS AND SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT Many of the experiments launched at Wallops fall in the category of basic testing and development of components, systems, subsystems, and instrumentation to be flown in later types of vehicles and spacecraft. For example, a number of small-scale and full-scale Project Mercury capsules were scientifically investigated and/or tested at Wallops in 1959-1961 in support of NASA's manned space craft program, before the astronauts were launched from Cape Kennedy. In 1959 and 1960, a series of 100-feet diameter inflatable spheres made of thin mylar plastic (about half the thickness of the cellophane on a package of cigarettes) and coated with aluminum were launched from Wallops Island in suborbital flights to test the feasibility and performance of inflatable spheres as passive communications satellites. These flights were in preparation for the success~
ful launching of the Echo I Satellite from Cape Kennedy on August 12, 1960, and Echo lion January 25, 1964. In October 1962 an experiment was conducted to check out some of the instruments programmed for the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) Satellite, scheduled for later launch. In 1961 experiments were conducted at Wallops to test equipment to be flown in the Topside Sounder Satellites of the United States and Canada. These satellites measure the characteristics of the upper ionosphere by sending pulsed radio signals from above (topside sounding), as compared with the previous method of ionospheric sounding by sending from ground stations radio signals which are reflected back from the lower ionosphere. On August 18, 1964, a reentry experiment was flown on a Scout vehicle to test heat shield material being considered for use on the Apollo spacecraft. On June 7, 1966, an experiment was conducted to study the behavior of liquids under zero gravity conditions. Designated the Weightless Analysis Sounding Probe (WASP), the 1,500-pound payload consisted of a scale model of a liquid hydrogen fuel tank. Two smaM TV c;:ameras, extended on 5-foot booms, televised pictures of the behavior of the liquid (ethyl alcohol) under zero-g. Data from this experiment are used in launch vehicle development programs of Centaur and Saturn which have liquid hydrogen upper stages designed to coast in orbit and then restart their engines.
Much of the Wallops research effort is in support of the national sounding rocket program. Sounding rdckets fly in nearly vertical trajectories, carrying packages of. scientific instruments to heights of from 40 to several hundred or even thousands of miles above the earth's surface. Their effective lifetime is usually only a few minutes, until they drop back to earth. All of the scientific data which the vehicle and its payload will make available must be collected in this brief period. Sounding rockets are used primarily to fill the gap for obtaining data between the balloon level (about 20 miles altitude maximum) and the satellite level. Wallops Station also renders assistance in meteorological and space research to other Government agencies, including the Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Commerce Environmental Science Servlces Administration, and t~e Department of Defense; to research groups in indus-
Illustrated is one of Wallops Station's several telemetry antennas used to receive signals from NASA experiments
try and colleges and universities, and to scientific groups and Government space agencies in other countries. In addition, Wallops plays a major role in NASA's program of international cooperation in space research. Some 50 countries have sent representatives to Wallops Station over the past few years to observe its operations or seek assistance in establishing a sounding rocket launch facility of their own. Several of these countries have conducted their experiments at Wallops for launching. Others have sent technical personnel here for training in methods and techniques of launching sounding rocket and satellite payloads. Wallops, in turn, has provided technical- assistance to countries in the selection and construction of their own launch sites and in the launching of their first experiments.
SMALL SCIENTIFIC SATELLITES
Wallops also has the capability for launching small scientific satellites, using the four-stage solid-fueled Scout launch vehicle. Eleven satellites have been placed in orbit (mid-1967), including several in the Explorer series, the United Kingdom's Ariel II, and the Italian San Marco ,.
data acquisition functions for experiments launched elsewhere. These include the weather satellites, the Echo communications satellites, the Beacon Explorer satellites, the Atlas-Centaur and Saturn tests, and others. Wallops Island is separated from mainland Virginia, by two miles of marsh and inland waterway. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge. The island, approximately six miles long and one-half mile in width at its widest point, takes its name from John Wallop, a 17th century surveyor. The launch sites, assembly shops, blockhouses, dynamic balancing facilities, some rocket storage buildings, and related facilities, are located on the island. Wallops Mainland Station Base occupies a 2,200-acre site about six miles northwest of Wallops Island. Located there are Administrative offices, technical service support shops, a rocket inspection and storage area, Range Control Center, Main telemetry station and a weather satellite tracking station owned and operated by ESSA (Environmental Science Services Administration).
DIRECTOR:MR. ROBERT L. KRIEGER
Wallops Station National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wallops Island, Virginia 23337
TRACKING AND DATA ACQUISITION
In addition to tracking experiments launched at Wallops, the station also is engaged in tracking and
U.S GOYERNMENTPRINTING OFFICE ,g'.O-Z9O-7'7
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