NASA sounding rocket reaches space with DEUCE experiment

NASA launched sounding rocket from White Sands Missile Range Las Cruces in New Mexico on October 30, 2017.

Black Brant IX rocket delivered to orbit the Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Experiment. It is special instrument designed to measure starlight from a pair of two starts in the Canis Major constellation. Collected data from DEUCE should help in better understanding processes of star-forming and role of the intergalactic medium (diffuse gas between galaxies).

In total twelve variants of Black Brant were designed and manufactured. Black Brant IX /Terrier Black Brant is two stage vehicle with Terrier Mk 70 booster first stage (with engine generating 76 kN of thrust) and one from different second stages: Black Brant VB second stage, Black Brant IXB, Black Brant IXBM1, Black Brant IXCM1, Terrier Black Brant XI Mod 2. This particular variant was introduced in 1982.

Total gross mass of the rocket is 200 kg with total height of 12.2 m and diameter at 0.46 m. Black Brant IX is able to reach 300 km orbit with up to 560 kg of payload.

Black Brant have its origins in 1961 when Canadian company Bristol Aerospace from Winnipeg presented first sounding rocket from this family in 1961. Until now around 800 different variants were launched what makes this vehicle one of the most popular sounding rocket ever designed.