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Viking Sounding Rocket

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This is the Viking 12, the last of a series of U.S. large-scale, liquid-propellant sounding rockets designed specifically to replace the diminishing numbers of captured V-2 rockets used for upper-atmospheric research after World War II. Viking's 20,000-pound thrust, XLR-10 liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed by Reaction Motors, Incorported. The rocket first flew in 1949.

Viking rockets differed in their configurations and payload capabilities. Viking No. 12, launched from White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico in 1955, reached a height of 144 miles. The Viking 12 shown here was reconstructed from parts recovered from the original rocket. The reconstructed Viking 12 was donated in 1976 to the Smithsonian by the Martin Marietta Corp.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

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

Manufacturer

Credit Line

Martin Marietta Corp.

Materials

Aluminum body and other metals

Dimensions

Overall: 42 ft. 15/16 in. tall x 3 ft. 9 in. diameter x 12 ft. wing span, 2022 lb. (1282.54 x 114.3 x 365.76cm, 917.2kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America

Date

1955

Type

CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number

A19760843000

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