Microgravity, atmosphere sounding, astronomy, technology validation - an overview of suborbital rockets' missions and payloads
by Tomasz Noga; Rachita Puri
International Journal of Space Science and Engineering (IJSPACESE), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2020

Abstract: Suborbital rockets have been used for research purposes for decades, and they are attractive for atmosphere sounding, microgravity research, astronomy and technology validation purposes. This paper aims to give an outline of the current state of suborbital rocket research efforts. We present a short overview of the history of suborbital research and give a general description of suborbital rockets as well as an overview of national and international research programs utilising suborbital rockets. The topic of test ranges and recent commercialisation efforts are described briefly. We divide the research into four general types - technology validation, astronomy, microgravity and atmosphere sounding. Each type is described and a corresponding table of recently flown example missions is included. Additionally, use of suborbital rockets for education purposes is described. We comment on the future of suborbital research based on current trends and forecasts.

Online publication date:: Thu, 15-Oct-2020

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