NASA Center: Marshall Space Flight Center
Public Release Year: 1996
Reference Number: MSFC-SO-7
Category: Environment And Resource Management
Origin: Pre-launch Wind Data for Rocket Launches
NASA needed a way to make high-resolution measurements of the wind profile before launching Saturn vehicles. The standard smooth-surface weather balloons zigzagged or spiraled as they ascended due to air vortices that shed off the surface at various positions, which made accurate radar-tracking measurement impossible. A Marshall Space Flight Center engineer modified the surface of the balloons with conical dixie cups, which stabilized them. Now produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation, the Jimsphere is the standard device at all U.S. missile/launch vehicle ranges.
Page Number in Published book: 80
Manufacturer: ORBITAL SCIENCE CORPORATION