USNS Croatan Cover
In the mid-1960s scientists around the world chose to devote their attention to the sun during its sleepier period, an effort that they called the International Quiet Sun Year. NASA participated in the International Quiet Sun Year in numerous ways, and one of the most unusual involved equipping a World War 2 era escort carrier with dozens of sounding rockets and setting it sail on the oceans. Over a six-week period the ship fired the rockets high into the atmosphere to conduct various measurements, primarily to determine how a quieter sun was interacting with Earth’s atmosphere. The vessel was the U.S. Naval Ship (USNS) Croatani as shown in the cover below1.
Below is a similar cover from 19652. On May 19, 1965 NASA launched a Javelin sounding rocket from Wallops Island on a Suborbital mission to study the Ionosphere (see http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1965/1965%20-%202692.html). At the time the USNS Croatan was serving as an experimental ship under NASA control. However, it is unknown if the rocket was launched from the Croatan.
i) Source: http://www.thespacereview.com
1) Cover from the collection of Eddie Bizub
2) Cover from the collection of Antoni Rigo
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Last modified on 10 June 2015