Terrier Mk70 - Improved Malemute

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The Range and Mission Management Office (RMMO), Code 840, at Wallops Flight Facility supported the successful launch of the Terrier Mk70-Improved Malemute sounding rocket on January 11, 2012, from the Wallops Research Range. The rocket was launched as the second demonstration flight to test the qualifications of the Improved Malemute motor and igniter in a dynamic flight environment.

RMMO project managers provided oversight to the management of the mission including scheduling and finance while coordinating the efforts of Research Range Services (RRS) personnel. These services included telemetry, tracking radar, timing, radio frequency monitoring, communications, meteorological services, command and control, and optical tracking for the mission. For vehicle metrics, telemetry engineers and technicians configured the 8-meter system and the two medium-gain antennas which tracked the vehicle from launch to loss of sight without a hitch in spite of foggy weather. RRS also operated radar sites 3, 5, and 18, with Radar 3 tracking chaff balloons as well as providing skin track off the pad. Radar technicians provided the principal investigator quality data at second-stage ignition – the most critical segment of this mission.

The RMMO test director worked hand-in-hand with NASA safety as four fishing vessels were traveling in and around the hazard area at launch time. On two separate occasions, the test director had to stop the count due to safety concerns; however, RRS maintained readiness and the launch soon commenced.

The Terrier Mk70-Improved Malemute vehicle reached an apogee of 856,000 feet. The launch marked yet another comprehensive success for Wallops Research Range, further improving capabilities in sounding rocket missions.

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