Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2004 Andreas Parsch

Cooper Development Loki-Wasp / HASP

The Loki-Wasp (Weather-Atmospheric Sounding Projectile) was the U.S. Navy's version of the Loki-Dart sounding rocket. In 1955, the Navy required a low-cost rocket for routine measurements of winds at altitudes of about 30-45 km (100000-150000 ft). The initial Loki-Wasp version was essentially identical to the basic Loki-Dart, and consisted of a stock Loki rocket motor and a chaff-filled dart. It was launched from a helical rail launcher mounted on a 5-inch gun barrel, and first flew in February 1956.

Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford

Later versions used higher-performance rocket motors (named Loki II, and very similar in performance to the motor used in the USAF's XRM-82/PWN-1A) and alternate dart payloads, like a radiosonde transmitting temperature and pressure measurements. A variant known as HASP (High Altitude Sounding Projectile) was launched directly from a 5-inch gun barrel. To stabilize the HASP during firing, the dart's small fins were fitted with "bore riders", which guided the rocket along the rifled barrel and thereby also imparted a spin. The bore riders fell free as soon as the dart exited the gun barrel.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for Loki-Wasp:

 Loki boosterLoki II booster
Length2.63 m (8 ft 7.5 in); dart: 1.02 m (40 in)
DiameterBooster: 7.62 cm (3 in); dart: 3.49 cm (1.375 in)
FinspanBooster: 12.7 cm (5 in); dart: 8.6 cm (3.4 in)
Weight11 kg (24 lb)13 kg (29 lb)
Speed4800 km/h (3000 mph)5950 km/h (3700 mph)
Altitude35 km (22 miles)56 km (35 miles)
PropulsionSolid-propellant rocket; 13.5 kN (3040 lb) for 0.8 s Solid-propellant rocket; 9.1 kN (2040 lb) for 1.9 s

Main Sources

[1] Peter Alway: "Rockets of the World", Saturn Press, 1999
[2] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[3] Jonathan McDowell: Launch Vehicles Database

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 15 November 2004