Navy Black Brant Rocket
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Black Brant Research Rocket

     Black Brant is a high altitude research rocket (often referred to as a sounding rocket) built by Bristol of Canada capable of launching scientific payloads above the earth’s atmosphere. There have been a number of versions of rockets in the Black Brant family of rockets but the one launched most often by the Navy at WSMR is the Black Brant V or BBV. The one shown here, S/N-21.020 was launched for NASA on 24 October 1972 from the 350 launch tower at LC-36. This was a single stage, solid fuel rocket 25ft 8.5 inches in length, 17.3 inches in diameter, weighing approximately 2650 lb. and capable of carrying 150 lbs to an altitude of 155 miles or more. The Research Rockets branch of the Navy facility at White Sands provided launch services for a number of organizations, often sponsored by NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the U.S. Air Force and others. Many universities participated in experiments involving upper atmosphere and space research. The Physical Science Laboratory of NMSU along with Navy personnel provided vehicle and payload technical support.