Sparta (rocket)

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Sparta
Drawing of Sparta rocket.svg
FunctionSounding rocket
Launch system
ManufacturerABMA/Chrysler
Country of originUnited States
Size
Height21.8 metres (72 ft)
Diameter1.78 metres (5 ft 10 in)
Mass30,000 kilograms (66,000 lb)
Stages3
Capacity
Payload to LEO45 kilograms (99 lb)
Associated rockets
FamilyRedstone
ComparableJupiter-C
Juno I
Launch history
StatusRetired
Launch sitesWoomera Test Range LA-8
Total launches10
Successes9
Failures1
First flight28 November 1966
Last flight29 November 1967
Notable payloadsWRESAT
First stage – Redstone
Engines1 A-7
Thrust416 kilonewtons (94,000 lbf)
Specific impulse265 sec
Burn time155 seconds
FuelLOX/Hydyne
Second stage – Antares-2
Engines1 X-259
Thrust93 kilonewtons (21,000 lbf)
Specific impulse293 sec
Burn time36 seconds
FuelSolid
Third stage – BE-3
Engines1 solid
Thrust34
Burn time9 seconds
FuelSolid

The Sparta was a three-stage rocket that launched Australia's first Earth satellite, WRESAT, on 29 November 1967.

Sparta used a surplus American Redstone as its first stage, an Antares-2 as a second stage, and a BE-3 as a third stage. Several Spartas were launched from 1966–67 from Woomera Test Range in Woomera, South Australia as part of a joint United States–United Kingdom–Australian research program aimed at understanding re-entry phenomena, and the U.S. donated a spare for the scientific satellite launch into polar orbit.

The first stage was recovered from the Simpson Desert in 1990 after being found in searches by explorer Dick Smith the previous year.[1]:76–80

Sparta on the pad at Woomera

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douherty, Kevin. "Retrieving Woomera's Heritage" (PDF). Retrieved 3 August 2016.