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A Navy rockoon just after a shipboard launch. A Deacon rocket is suspended below the balloon
A high-altitude balloon from which a small sounding rocket could be launched. The first rockoon was sent up in 1952 from the icebreaker Eastwind off Greenland by a research group headed by James Van Allen. It could carry a 9-kg payload to an altitude of 95-110 km. Rockoons were used in great numbers by Office of Naval Research and University of Iowa research groups in 1953–55 and the International Geophysical Year 1957-58, from ships in the sea between Boston and Thule, Greenland.