Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blue Scout Jr.

"The Blue Scout Junior was regarded by the USAF as the most useful of the various Blue Scout configurations. It was used between between 1962 and 1965 by the Air Force to launch suborbital scientific payloads to very high altitudes. The SLV-1B* was effectively identical to the XRM-91, and was launched seven times between July 1963 and June 1965 with magnetospheric experiments as payload. The LV-1B (also known as SLV-1B(m)) was a three-stage variant which omitted the Cetus 4th stage of XRM-91/SLV-1B. The USAF lauchned three LV-1Bs between November 1962 and December 1964 on ion engine test missions. The SLV-1C was another three stage rocket, which replaced the LV-1B's Alcor third stage by an Altair. It was used as the rocket for the MER-6A interim ERCS (Emergency Rocket Communications System) vehicle. The NASA used a three-stage Blue Scout Junior configuration (using the same stages as the LV-1B) as the RAM B."

This is one of the smallest, lightest, rockets able to place payloads into orbit. While not designed or used for this purpose, the Blue Scout Jr. was a very simple rocket (with aerodynamic and spin stabilization) of minimal size. As the amateur community continues to explore rocketry to space, it may prove possible to begin thinking about orbital flights. That is the next logical step, and as the Blue Scout demonstrated, not out of the reach of R, S, and T class motors.


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