Terrier Oriole


Terrier Oriole
Terrier Oriole.jpg
Terrier Oriole at launch
FunctionSounding rocket
ManufacturerAstrotech Space Operations
Country of originUnited States
Height8.2 metres (324 in)
Diameter0.56 metres (22 in)
Payload to 340 kilometres (210 mi)
Mass360 kilograms (800 lb)
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sitesWallops Island, Barking Sands, South Uist[1]
Total launches12 minimum
First flightJuly 7, 2000
Last flightMarch 3, 2021[2]
First stage – Terrier Mk 12
Length3.9 metres (155 in)
Diameter0.46 metres (18 in)
Gross mass1,001 kilograms (2,207 lb)
Thrust258 kilonewtons (58,000 lbf)
Second stage – Oriole
Length3.9 metres (155 in)
Diameter0.56 metres (22 in)
Gross mass1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb)

Terrier Oriole is an unguided two-stage rocket system which is primarily used by the Goddard Space Flight Center out of the Wallops Flight Facility as a sounding rocket. The system uses a Terrier first-stage booster attached to an Oriole second-stage rocket.[3] The system can carry payloads between 800 to 1,500 pounds (360 to 680 kg) up to an altitude of 320 kilometres (200 mi).[4] It is also used to test ballistic missile defense systems, under the name ARAV-B.

Technical details

The Terrier motor is 18 inches (460 mm) in diameter and 155 inches (3,900 mm) long, and it normally uses two "spin motors", both to reduce dispersion and to serve as drag plates. It uses four equally spaced fins which are 4.8 square feet (0.45 m2) and canted in such a way as to provide two revolutions per second at Terrier burnout. The weight of the Terrier booster system is 2,207 pounds (1,001 kg).[4]

The Oriole motor is 22 inches (560 mm) in diameter and 155 inches (3,900 mm) long. There is a 14-inch (360 mm) interstage adapter between the Terrier and Oriole systems, which allows for drag separation following Terrier burnout. The Oriole stage uses four fins in a cruciform configuration, which are canted in order to provide a spin rate of four revolutions per second upon Oriole burnout.[4]

Standard hardware includes a nose cone and capacitive discharge ignition system. Separation systems are available for use in order to separate the payload from the motor during ascent. An ogive nose cone is also available to users, when required.[4]

Terrier-Oriole is used to test ballistic missile defense systems, under the name Aegis Readiness Assessment Vehicle-B (ARAV-B).[5] It is much cheaper than other ballistic missile targets.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Jonathan's Space Report Issue 742". 2017-11-25.
  2. ^ https://www.air-cosmos.com/article/space-force-nouvelle-mission-secrte-24347
  3. ^ Dunbar, Brian (March 3, 2012). Wilson, Jim (ed.). "NASA's Terrier Oriole Rocket". NASA/GSFC. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Terrier Oriole information brochure" (PDF). NASA.
  5. ^ a b Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division Public Affairs (April–June 2011). "Ballistic Missile Tracking Exercise Using ARAV-B". CHIPS.