The Aerolab Argo D-4 Javelin Rocket

The 4-stage Javelin was developed by Aerolab, which called the rocket Argo D-4, as a successor to the U.S. Air Force's Argo E-5/Jason sounding rocket. The first three stages were identical to Jason (1x M6 "Honest John" + 2x M5 "Nike"), but the latter's two small upper stages were replaced by a single larger X-248 Altair motor (adapted from the Navy's Vanguard SLV program).

Although the Javelin was originally developed as an Air Force vehicle to measure radiation levels at high altitude, it was quickly adopted as a standard high-performance sounding rocket by NASA.

(NASA photo courtesy of Joel Powell)

Manufacturer: Aerolab
Length: 14.85 m (48 ft 8.8 in)
Diameter: 1st stage: 58.1 cm (22.9 in) 2nd/3rd stage: 41.9 cm (16.5 in) 4th stage: 48 cm (19.0 in)
Fin Span: 1st stage: 2.61 m (8 ft 6.9 in) 2nd stage: 1.58 m (5 ft 2.1 in) 3rd stage: 1.34 cm (4 ft 4.7 in)
Weight: 3385 kg (7462 lb)
Ceiling: ~1100 km (680 miles)
Typical Payload: 57 kg (125 lb)
First Stage: ABL M6 solid-fueled rocket; 365 kN (82055 lbf) for 5 s
Second and Third Stage: ABL M5 solid-fueled rocket; 217 kN (48700 lb) for 3.4 s
Fourth Stage: ABL X-248 Altair solid-fueled rocket; 14 kN (3150 lb) for 40 s
First Firing: 7 July 1959
Number of Flights: (July 7, 1959 to July, 18 1976) 82
Number of failures: 5
Success Rate: 93.90%
Launch site: Wallops Island

Updated: 8-2-2017

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