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Black Brant-12

Black Brant-12 [NASA]

The Black Brant XII rocket system is a four stage system used primarily to carry a variety of payloads to high altitudes. Its development is a spin-off of the Black Brant X development.

The first and second stage are the Mk 11 Mod 5 Talos rocket motor and the Taurus motor. The third stage is a modified Black Brant VC motor. The Black Brant nozzle is extended for exoatmospheric use and the tailcan has been changed to enclose the nozzle. The aft end of the tailcan has a restraining device to keep the Taurus and Black Brant connected while coasting.

The Talos motor is 3.35 m long with a diameter of 78.7 cm. It is fitted with a conical adapter for mating to the second stage and differential drag forces cause separation. Four fins are arranged at the aft end in a cruciform configuration and drive the roll rate to approximately one revolution per second at burnout. Each fin is 0.64 m2 in area.

The Taurus motor is 4.19 m long with a principal diameter of 57.8 cm. The motor has the interstage adapter bolted to the forward end, which is then clamped to the aft end of the Black Brant motor. Each Taurus fin is 0.44 m2 in area. Normally, the fins are canted to provide two revolutions per second spin rate at Taurus burnout. The weight of the booster system (with hardware) is 1363 kg, including 761 kg of propellant.

The 26KS20000 Black Brant V rocket motor has been modified for use as the third stage of the Black Brant XII. The nozzle cone has been extended as has the tailcan, and the diameter at the aft end of the conical extension is 57.8 cm. The standard Black Brant V fin panels are used even though the tail assembly is different. The 26KS20000 Black Brant V rocket motor produces an average thrust level of 7074 kg and an action time of 32.42 seconds. The primary diameter of the Black Brant V is 43.8 cm and it is 5.66 m long. Loaded weight of the motor including hardware is 1271 kg which includes 1017 kg of propellant.

The Nihka rocket motor, previously developed for the Black Brant X, is used on this vehicle system. The average thrust is 4804 kg, with a total impulse of 85,47 kg-sec. The primary diameter is 43.8 cm and the length is 1.93 m. The loaded motor weight of 407 kg. which includes 315 kg of propellant.

The standard payload configuration for the Black Brant XII vehicle is 43.8 cm in diameter with a 3:1 ogive nose shape. Payload length and weight limits for the Black Brant XII are not defined as they are for the Black Brant V and specific limitations for this system will be determined as the situation warrants. Because of relatively high dynamic pressures, bulbous (larger than 43.8 cm) diameter payloads are carefully considered before flight on the Black Brant XII. For payloads weighing as little as 136 kg, 1500 km apogee altitudes can be reached. The 500 km altitude region is attainable with 521 kg payloads from sea level, when the launcher elevation is 85. Standard hardware systems that are available for Black Brant V motors include payload separation systems including a High Velocity Separation System and despin systems. These units are "stackable" such that a great deal of flexibility exists in meeting experiment requirements. It should be noted that because of the extreme range at even moderately high launch elevation angles, recovery of the payload may not be possible.

The Black Brant XII will be replaced by the Black Brant XII-A, which substitutes the Taurus (Honest John) second stage motor with a Terrier Mk.70 motor.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
Black Brant-12 Talos Taurus (Honest John) 26KS20000 Nihka / 17KS12000
Nr TypeNr  Vehicle              Date          LS        Suc  Payload

 1    1    Black Brant-12       30.09.1988    WI       *     NASA 12.041WT (BEARS)
 2    2    Black Brant-12       05.12.1989    WI       *     NASA 12.042WT
 4    3    Black Brant-12       22.03.1990    PF       *     NASA 40.002UE
 5    4    Black Brant-12       12.02.1991    PF       *     NASA 40.001UE (TOPAZ 3)
 7    5    Black Brant-12       27.01.1993    PF       * F   NASA 40.003UE (PHAZE)
 8    6    Black Brant-12       02.04.1993    PF       *     NASA 40.004UE (UCB Alaska '93)
 9    7    Black Brant-12       06.03.1994    PF       *     NASA 40.005UE (Auroral Turbulences 1)
10    8    Black Brant-12       25.01.1995    And U3   *     NASA 40.006IE (SCIFER)
11    9    Black Brant-12       24.02.1995    PF       *     NASA 40.007UE (AMICIST)
12   10    Black Brant-12       07.11.1995    PF       *     NASA 40.009UE (OEDIPUS C)
13   11    Black Brant-12       10.02.1997    PF       *     NASA 40.010UE (PHAZE 2)
14   12    Black Brant-12       11.02.1997    PF       *     NASA 40.011UE (Auroral Turbulences 2)
15   13    Black Brant-12       21.01.1999    And      *     NASA 40.012IE (CAPER)
16   14    Black Brant-12       22.01.1999    PF       *     NASA 40.013DP (APEX)
17   15    Black Brant-12       25.02.2000    PF LC-3  *     NASA 40.008UE
18   16    Black Brant-12       26.02.2000    PF LC-4  *     NASA 40.015IE (GEODESIC)
19   17    Black Brant-12       14.01.2002    PF LC-4  *     NASA 40.014UE (SIERRA)
20   18    Black Brant-12       06.02.2002    PF       *     NASA 40.016UE (RACE)
23   19    Black Brant-12       06.03.2005    PF LC-4  * F   NASA 40.017UE (CASCADES)
25   20    Black Brant-12       12.02.2007    PF       *     NASA 40.020UE (ROPA)
26   21    Black Brant-12       28.02.2007    PF       *     NASA 40.019UE (CHARM)
27   22    Black Brant-12       10.12.2007    And U3   *     NASA 40.018UE (TRICE High)
28   23    Black Brant-12       10.12.2007    And Ath  *     NASA 40.022UE (TRICE Low)
29   24    Black Brant-12       18.01.2008    And      *     NASA 40.021UE (SCIFER-2)
31   25    Black Brant-12       20.03.2009    PF LC-3  *     NASA 40.023UE (CASCADES 2)
32   26    Black Brant-12       16.02.2010    PF       *     NASA 40.025UE (CHARM 2)
33   27    Black Brant-12       12.12.2010    And      *     NASA 40.026UE (RENU)
35   28    Black Brant-12       06.06.2013    WI LA-1  *     NASA 40.030UG (CIBER 4)


 7: ?
23: Stage 3 failed to ignite

Launch sites:

And = Andøya Space Center (Andøya Rocket Range), Andøya, Nordland, Norway Norway
PF  = Poker Flat Research Range, Ft Wainwright, Alaska, USA USA
WI  = Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, USA USA