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MarkB. 11-09-2023 08:22 PM

Bio-Space Arcas
7 Attachment(s)
So I'll get right to it.

In 1964 , a payload bay for small biologicals was developed for the Arcas sounding rocket. Arcas was being launched all over the globe a a rate of more than 100 per month at this time. The small payload bay would carry a lab rat several 100,000 feet and recover the rat via parachute. Six launches were made (that I know of) from Wallops. The first two were failures, the second two were successful tests and the final two launched and recovered the rats.

The report is NASA SP-109 found here:

For our purposes, the rocket was a standard boat-tail Arcas with an additional 14.4" section that housed the rat and his gear above the usual shiny parachute canister. And it was painted florescent colors. There is the mystery of the nose cone: The standard Arcas nose cone was an 18" long secant ogive. There was also a 22" tangent ogive fitted to some Arcas launches. The report refers to an 18" tangent ogive nose. Another mystery are the colors: there is a color picture from Wallops archive that purports to be a Bio-Space Arcas that does appear florescent red but the report refers to the color of the rocket as florescent orange.

Buzz Nau did an excellent article in the Total Impulse newsletter (Vol 18, No.2) and developed a scale data sheet. That newsletter is a sticky in this section.

Attached are what I have:

1) the Wallops picture
2) Buzz's drawing
3) a drawing of unknown provenance
4) a drawing from SP-109
5) a description of unknown provenance
6) a picture of the cut-away of the capsule
7) a picture of a model of unknown provenance that matches the written description (note the wide, winding stripe)

I built a small one from the BMS/Alway kit but before I add the black stripes I thought I'd see if there was anything else. As you may note, the sources don't exactly match up.

Anybody got anything different?

Chris_Timm 11-12-2023 06:30 PM

3 Attachment(s)
The tangent ogive cone was custom made from fiberglass.

The color (red, orange, etc) is subjective as most fluorescent paints in the red/orange spectrum either look great or are a shade off kilter.

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