Sunday, June 01, 2008

Space History trivia: Single-stage altitude record?

Nicholas Hill started a thread on asking what the greatest altitude obtained by a single stage suborbital or sounding rocket was. I looked at my old favorites, the Viking and Aerobee and V-2, and found they'd all been left in the dust. I agreed with Allen Thomson's answer of ESA's Maxus series (over 700 km), but Nicholas found we'd all overlooked the British test vehicle Black Knight, which in 1962 hit 795 km.
OK, maybe this is of interest only to space geeks, but I find this kind of historical detective work fascinating... even when I'm not the one who finds the answer.

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