Nike Apache
The Nike Apache was a two-stage sounding rocket
Sounding rocket
A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The origin of the term comes from nautical vocabulary, where to sound is to throw a weighted line from a ship into...

 used by NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 to loft instruments into the upper atmosphere. The Nike Apache was launched 636 times between 1961 and 1978. It was a popular rocket due to its low cost (6000 USD) and ability to be fired from many locales.

The Nike Apache was used to carry a variety of payloads to study a wide range of topics including radio astronomy, meteorology, aeronomy
Aeronomy is the science of the upper region of the atmosphere, where dissociation and ionization are important. The term aeronomy was introduced by Sydney Chapman, and the above definition stems from 1960. Today the term also includes the science of the corresponding regions of the atmospheres of...

, atmospheric conditions, plasma physics, and solar physics. NASA flew them from Brazil, Canada, India, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, all across the US, and off the USS Croatan (CVE-25)
USS Croatan (CVE-25)
USS Croatan was an escort carrier launched on 1 August 1942 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation of Seattle, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. S. Russell; and commissioned on 28 April 1943, Captain J. B...

. The maximum payload weight was 80 lbs (36 kg) and the maximum altitude about 125 miles (200 km).

The Nike-Apache configuration was also used by one variation of the MQR-13 BMTS
The XMQR-13A Ballistic Missile Target System was an unguided target rocket developed by the United States Army during the 1960s, intended for use in the development of missile defense systems...

target rocket.


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