Far Side Sounding Rocket


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Far Side Sounding Rocket

Collection Item Summary:

Project Far Side was a series of six low-cost, all-solid-fuel, four-stage, balloon-launched sounding rockets, each launched from a carrier 200 foot (62 m) diameter balloon, and built and used in 1957. When each balloon reached its maximum altitude of about 100,000 feet (30,480 m), the rockets fired through the balloon.

Each Far Side rocket carried a scientific payload of three to five pounds (1.4-2.3 kg) of instruments for measuring cosmic rays, electromagnetic radiations, interplanetary gases, and other phenomena. The maximum altitude reached by the Far Side rockets may have been 4,000 miles (6,440 km). This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1965 by the Aeronutronics Division of the Ford Motor Co.

Collection Item Long Description:



Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of Ford Motor Company, Aeronutronics Division

Country of Origin

United States of America


Primarily aluminum, with some steel


Other: 1 ft. 8 in. diameter x 23 ft. 12 in. tall (50.8 x 731.5cm)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

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