The Solid Controlled Orbital Utility Test, otherwise known as Scout, Launch Vehicle Program began in 1957 after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite. The launch of Sputnik ignited the Space Race, during which the United States and the Soviet Union competed to conquer the next frontier— outer space. To gain a lead on the USSR, the United States initiated the Scout Launch Vehicle Program to produce an inexpensive, reliable, versatile, solid fuel launch vehicle for smaller payloads. Scout gave the country access to space for more than 30 years and, although small and relatively unknown outside of NASA offices, Scout was an unsung hero of the U.S. Space Program. The successful implementation of the versatile Scout launch vehicle helped to make the Space Program what it is today.
Some of the dedicated scientists who worked on the Scout Launch Vehicle Program. During the Development and Design Phase of the Scout Rocket Program, much of the work on rocket parts was completed by NASA scientists at the Langley site.
A Scout scientist fixes one of the rocket parts at the Langley site in 1960.
One of the Langley scientists transports a rocket part to the launch site at Wallops Island in 1960. Sign on the front of the vehicle reads "dangerous."
Scientists and other men prepare to hoist a Scout rocket onto the launch structure at Wallops Island in 1960.
A Scout rocket is hoisted up onto the launch structure at Wallops Island in 1960.
Stunning nighttime view of a Scout rocket positioned in a launch structure at Wallops Island in 1960.
An African American man loads a Scout rocket part into the back of a truck for transport in 1961.
The entrance to Assembly Shop No. 4. This image shows a pick-up truck with Scout rocket parts loaded in the back for transport. Signs at the entrance read “No Smoking Beyond This Point,” and “EXPLOSIVES – No Smoking.”
Aerial view of a launch area after a Scout rocket launch at Wallops Island in 1963. Although small, it is possible to see men surveying and collecting debris that was scattered around the site during launch.
Debris collected after the launch of a Scout rocket. Scout scientists studied the debris and to identify malfunctions of Scout vehicles after launch in order to help them build better, more reliable rockets.
Scout rocket vehicle mid-launch in 1963.
Letter sent from the keeper of the British Science Museum to the manager of the Scout Project Office regarding the display of a Scout Satellite Launch Vehicle at an outstation of the Science Museum, at Wroughton Airfield.
This exhibit was compiled and developed by Grace DiAgostino, a Pathways Student Trainee, in April 2015.
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View OPA catalog entries for documents used in this exhibit here: http://research.archives.gov/description/616672