The Terrier Orion is a combination of the Terrier booster rocket with the Orion rocket used as a second stage. This spin stabilized rocket configuration is most often used by the Goddard Space Flight Center, who operate out of the Wallops Flight Facility for sounding rocket operations. The system supports payloads ranging from 200 to 800 pounds (91 to 363 kg), and is capable of achieving altitudes as high as 200 kilometres (120 mi), but at least 80 kilometres (50 mi), depending on payload size.
The Terrier Orion system is designed to be rail launched, and can be supported at most fixed and mobile launch sites. The Terrier MK 12 Mod 1 or Mk70 rocket used for the first stage uses an 18 inches (460 mm) diameter motor along with 2.5 square feet (0.23 m2) or 4.8 square feet (0.45 m2) cruciform configured tail fins. The Improved Orion motor used in the second stage is 14-inch (360 mm) in diameter and 110-inch (2,800 mm) long. The system typically uses spin motors and has a total weight of approximately 2,900 pounds (1,300 kg), excluding payload.
The Improved Orion motor uses a "bi-phase propellant" system which provides it with around 19000 lbs (84,500 Newtons) of thrust during the first four seconds of motor burn. The thrust then tails off to approximately 3000 lbs (13,300 Newtons) of thrust until burnout occurs at around 25 seconds. The fins are normally configured so that the rocket will have a stabilizing spin rate of approximately four cycles per second.