Aries sounding rocket
The Aries sounding rocket is a rocket that utilizes the second stage from a Minuteman 1B ICBM to propel payloads of 400–2,200 pounds to altitudes of 254–536 kilometers. The first firing took place at White Sands Missile Range on June 18, 1974. The first Aries sounding rocket to carry a scientific payload onboard was launched on December 27, 1974, to observe an occultation of the Crab Nebula. The U.S. Navy at White Sands handles the launches.