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Atk alv x-1 pathfinder.jpg
ATK ALV X-1 Launch Vehicle Pathfinder
Function Sub-Orbital Test Vehicle
Manufacturer Alliant Techsystems
Country of origin United States
Height 54 feet
Diameter 5 feet
Mass Unknown
Stages 2
Launch history
Status Inactive
Launch sites Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
Total launches 1
Failures 1

ALV X-1 was to be a sounding rocket flight of a vehicle developed by Alliant Techsystems called the ATK Launch Vehicle (ALV). The rocket carried the SOAREX-VI and Hy-BoLT experiments as payloads.[1] The flight was launched at 09:10 GMT on August 22, 2008, and then the rocket was intentionally destroyed 20 seconds into flight after veering too far off course.[2] Launch occurred from LP-0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.


The Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transition (Hy-BoLT) experiment payload was sponsored by the Hypersonics Project within the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA.[1] Hy-BoLT was a wedge-shaped payload that would have provided "valuable data on the fundamental physics of high-Mach flight."[3] It would have been launched to an altitude of 250 miles (400 km), transmitting various temperatures and pressures on different parts of the vehicle's surface.

During the flight, Hy-BoLT transmitted data as expected for the first 20 seconds until it was destroyed when the rocket was detonated.


Sub-Orbital Aerodynamic Re-entry EXperiments VI (SOAREX-VI) was sponsored by the Hypersonics Project within the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA, and developed by NASA's Ames Research Center. It was carried by the ALV X-1 as a secondary payload.[1] SOAREX-VI would have attempted to characterize an innovative self-orienting reentry vehicle shape called the Slotted Compression RAMP (SCRAMP) probe. The SOAREX-VI package also included an atmospheric density calibration probe built by NASA Ames in cooperation with the University of Idaho, and an AIS[disambiguation needed] probe built by the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).

After detonation of the rocket, the SOAREX-VI enclosure inside was broken open. The SCRAMP probe, designed to activate upon ejection, did exactly that and acquired two TDRSS satellites overhead and an S-band tracking dish on land. It transmitted sensor and video data until it was destroyed on splashdown.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "ATK Completes Successful Pathfinder for Its New Launch Vehicle". ATK. 2006-10-10. 
  2. ^ Clayton, Cindy (2008-08-22). "Rocket explodes shortly after launch at Wallops Island". Pilot Online. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  3. ^ Little, Geoffrey (2007-09-01). "Mach 20 or Bust". Air & Space Magazine. 

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