A small, two-stage, solid-propellant sounding
rocket designed to explore the upper atmosphere. Development of the
Iris sounding rocket had begun at Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) prior
to the transfer of NRL's Rocket-Sonde group to NASA.
Iris was built by the Atlantic Research Corp. for the Naval Bureau of Ordnance,
with NRL monitoring the design, the production, and the payload. The development
of the rocket was completed by NASA, and the first NASA firing took place
at Wallops Island on Jul. 22, 1960. Iris
was capable of lifting 45 kg (100 lb) to an altitude of about 320 km (200
miles). NASA has not used the Iris rocket since 1962.
MISSILES, AND LAUNCH VEHICLES