FIGURE 9.3 Dr. Van Allen (left to right) as a graduate student (NASA), as a lieutenant in the Navy (NASA), and at his desk (courtesy of Tom Jorgensen, University of Iowa Office of University Relations, 1990).

FIGURE 9.3 Dr. Van Allen (left to right) as a graduate student (NASA), as a lieutenant in the Navy (NASA), and at his desk (courtesy of Tom Jorgensen, University of Iowa Office of University Relations, 1990).

while in the Navy, an idea he got from Lee Lewis, a Commander in the Navy, was the Rockoons. As shown in Figure 9.4, these were rockets that were launched from a balloon. The balloon takes the rocket to about 70,000 feet, and you are able to achieve 350,000 feet when the rocket fired.

The Rockoon program was great fun, but it had its moments that established that we really were not rocket scientists. The photo on the right shows some idiot up there (me) holding a two-stage rocket that we decided to try. We used the same nose cone and the same tail fins that we used on smaller rocket flights. The rocket

FIGURE 9.4 Rockoons. SOURCE: Courtesy of NASA.

FIGURE 9.4 Rockoons. SOURCE: Courtesy of NASA.



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