Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS)

  • Mission
  • Vehicle
  • Launch
  • Photos

The CHESS payload at Wallops.36.285 UG Black Brant IX was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on May 24, 2014. This mission, the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS), is designed to enable new scientific studies of the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM). The LISM provides an opportunity to study general ISM phenomena up close and in three dimensions, including interactions of different phases of the ISM, cloud collisions, cloud evolution, ionization structure, thermal balance, turbulent motions, etc. Understanding the structure of the LISM is important in evaluating the cosmic ray environment and the potential habitability of nearby exoplanets. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Kevin France/University of Colorado.

More information on CHESS:


Drawing of a Terrier-Black Brant sounding rocket

The Black Brant 9 is a two stage sounding rocket with a Terrier first stage and Black Brant second stage. The Black Brant 9 can reach altitudes of about 600 km. Payloads weighing from 400 to 1200 pounds can be flown.

Additional sounding rocket vehicles

Google Earth Map showing White Sands Missile Range.

The Degradation Free Spectrometers mission was launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico on May 24, 2014.