The Aries is a solid-propellant rocket developed for the Naval Research
Laboratory (NRL) by Space Vector Corp. in the early 1970s. The Aries is a sounding rocket and or target
that uses a Minuteman I second stage (Aerojet M-56 Rocket Motor) fitted with four fins and a nose cone.
Aries are capable of carrying 1800 pound payloads to an altitude of 200 miles. A number of Aries have
been launched by the Navy at WSMR. The one pictured here was launched on 5 Sept. 1986 as part of the
“Star Wars Brilliant Pebbles” Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) operation and was successfully
detected by a Delta 180 payload launched earlier from Cape Canaveral.