Aries Missile Launch at White Sands Missile Range
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Aries Missile Lifts Off

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     The Aries is a solid-propellant rocket developed for the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) by Space Vector Corp. in the early 1970s. The Aries is a sounding rocket and or target that uses a Minuteman I second stage (Aerojet M-56 Rocket Motor) fitted with four fins and a nose cone. Aries are capable of carrying 1800 pound payloads to an altitude of 200 miles. A number of Aries have been launched by the Navy at WSMR. The one pictured here was launched on 5 Sept. 1986 as part of the “Star Wars Brilliant Pebbles” Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) operation and was successfully detected by a Delta 180 payload launched earlier from Cape Canaveral.

This Aries was launch by the Nave at White Sands.