Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland, Denmark (50.6°W, 67.0°N)
The first sounding rockets launches from Greenland were carried out from the American ice-breaker Eastwind during the summer 1952. They were experiments of the Rockoon (Rocket on Balloon) program in which small Deacon rockets were fired after being elevated up to 16 km of altitude by means of balloons. This program of studies, directed by Pr James A. Van Allen, comprised experiments from the State University of Iowa and the Naval Research Laboratory. After two other campaigns in 1953 and 1954, the 1955 campaign saw the introduction of Loki rockets, less powerful but cheaper, and also Deacon-Loki 2-stage rockets. The 1957 campaign used only Loki II rockets.
Thereafter, AFCRL proceeded to several Arcas launching campaigns from Thule Air Force Base within the framework of the PCA program (Polar Cape Absorption). Thule Air Force Base was also a launch site in the Meteorological Rocket Network (MRN) and a lot of meteorological rockets (Loki-Dart) were launched there.
In 1971 the Danish Meteorological Institute set up a sounding rocket range at Sondre Stromfjord in Greenland. The object was to conduct sounding-rocket experiments in the particular ionospheric regions known as the "dayside auroral oval" and "polar cap ionosphere". Sondre Stromfjord is an airport located at the inland end of a narrow fiord of the same name. The rocket range is manned during launch periods only. On August 22 and 24, 1971 two Nike-Apache were the first rockets launched there, as part of the Danish national program. Other rockets launches campaigns were carried out from Sondre Stromfjord since, most of them in cooperation with USA, but also with Germany, Sweden, and United Kingdom.
a/ Rockoon launches between Boston and Thule
b/ Launches from Thule
c/ Launches from Sondre Stromfjord
Vik, Iceland (19.0°W, 63.7°N)
Two French Dragon rockets campaigns were carried out using a CNES mobile ramp settled at Vik, Iceland. Four sounding rockets were launched (2 in August 1964 and 2 in August-September 1965) for high latitude van Allen belts studies.
Coronie, Dutch Guyana (now Surinam) (56.2°W, 5.8°N)
Four Nike-Apache sounding rockets were launched in September 1965 from the northern part of Dutch Guyana. These experiments were carried out by the university of Utrecht and the KNMI (Dutch Weather Bureau) for studying winds at high altitude.
Karystos, Eubee island, Greece (24.6°E, 38.0°N)
A sounding rockets launching range was established on the Eubee island to observe the eclipse of 20 May 1966. Seven ESRO rockets (5 Sparrow-Arcas and 2 Centaure) were launched during the eclipse, after two launches (1 Sparrow-Arcas and 1 Centaure) on 15 May. NASA participated in this campaign too, launching 7 boosted-Arcas from a ship (1 on 15 May, 5 during the eclipse and 1 the following day).
Dumont d'Urville station, Adelie Land, Antarctica, France (140°E, 66.7°S)
The Dumont d'Urville station was used, in January 1967, for a launch campaign comprising four Dragon rockets. The objective of experiments (CNES and Ionospheric Research Group) related to the study of the anomalies of the upper atmosphere behavior centered over magnetic midday.
Port aux Français, Kerguelen islands, Indian ocean, France (70.3°E, 49.4°S)
Several sounding rockets launching campaigns occurred from the Kerguelen islands:
- in March-April 1968, three rocket Dragon IIB for a CNES program ,
- in 1973, several dozens of M-100 rockets launched as part of a Russian program carried out in conjunction with some other launch sites distributed from North Pole to South Pole, intended to proceed to meridian cut of the upper atmosphere,
- in January-February 1975, two Eridan rockets fired for the ARAKS program (ARtificial Aurora between Kerguelen and Sogra) carried out in Franco-Russian collaboration. Two Arcas rockets were also fired before and after each Eridan rocket as part of an American program.
a/ Rockoon launches between Boston and Thule
|1955||26||18 Deacon, 6 Loki I, 2 Deacon-Loki I|
|1957||18||18 Loki II|
b/ Launches from Thule Air Force Base (63.8°W, 76.4°N)
|1972||6||4 Arcas, 2 Sparrow-Arcas|
c/ Launches from Sondre Stromfjord (50.6°W, 67.0°N)
|1974||9||2 Black Brant 4, 3 Nike-Tomahawk, 4 Petrel|
|1975||1||1 Black Brant 4|
|1985||8||1 Black Brant IX, 2 Black Brant X, 1 Nike-Tomahawk, 1 Taurus-Orion, 1 Taurus-Tomahawk, 2 Terrier-Malemute|
|1987||9||2 Black Brant IX, 1 Nike-Tomahawk, 1 Taurus-Tomahawk, 3 Taurus-Nike-Tomahawk, 2 Terrier-Malemute|