Collection Item Summary:
The Loki-Dart was the sounding rocket version of the Loki surface-to-air spin-stabilized missile briefly used as a barrage weapon by the U.S. Army in 1949. The Loki is small, light, but powerful for its size and very inexpensive. It was therefore adapted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and State University of Iowa for upper-atmospheric sounding and meteorological work.
Loki-Darts were designed to measure temperature and wind velocity up to a height of 65 kilometers (40 miles). The Loki burned out at a 1,524-meter (5,000 feet) altitude, then dropped off while the Dart inert payload section continued on a ballistic trajectory up to peak altitude and conducted its measurements. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1975 by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.