From the Vault - featured items from our collection

Judi-Dart Meteorological/Sounding Rocket (PH9.38)

Judi-Dart Meteorological/Sounding Rocket

This object is a Judi-Dart Meteorological/Sounding Rocket used at Fort Churchill, Manitoba during the period of 1968-1970. It was donated on March 24, 1972 to the Sam Waller Museum and is an interesting piece of the collection. While this is only the first stage of the rocket the complete item would have measured 2.7 metres in height with the addition of the payload to the nose. The rocket would have reached a height of 65 kilometres and been launched with 9,000 Newtons of force, more than double what is needed to break an adult human’s femur bone (the strongest bone in the body). All this from a rocket that was 8 centimetres in diameter and weighed only 10 kilograms!

Launched from Fort Churchill, most likely by the Meteorological Rocket Network an Agency of the American Government, due to the excellent conditions present there for meteorological research the rocket would have carried a variety of instrumentation used to study the effects of atmospheric phenomena on a variety of factors affecting everyday life. More than 3,500 suborbital flights were launched from For Churchill during the approximately 40 year life span of the Fort. Almost deserted today, Fort Churchill remains as a Canadian National Historic Site.

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Added: March, 2013

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