Very high Angular resolution Ultraviolet Telescope (VAULT 2.0)

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36.288 DS Terrier-Black Brant was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM. The VAULT2.0 project aims to refurbish and upgrade the VAULT payload launched three times between 1999 and 2005. In two successful flights, VAULT obtained the highest resolution images of the solar atmosphere ever from a space-based platform. The flights proved that subarcsecond (~0.45 arc-second) imaging is possible with a modest aperture telescope from a solar physics sounding
rocket. The dynamics observed in the images are consistent with magnetic footpoint-driven evolution and heating of the solar atmosphere. The data provides a remarkable new viewing window into the dynamics and evolution of the chromosphere. This portion of the atmosphere is now realized to be directly associated with heating of large scale coronal loops and other structures. The upgraded VAULT payload, now called VAULT2.0, doubles the image acquisition rate of the instrument while maintaining its ultra-high spatial resolution.

The scientific observationsduring this mission included viewing the magnetic footprint-driven evolution and heating of the solar atmosphere. Coronal loops, special hot structures, and other features were present during the observation period with the sun being very active. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Angelos Vourlidas/Naval Research Laboratory.

More information about this mission is available at:



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 VAULT 2.0 mission was launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico on September 30, 2014.

No photos currently avaialble.