Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2003 Andreas Parsch|
In 1964 Lockheed proposed a new type of reusable battlefield reconnaissance rocket called Ping-Pong, which was equipped with solid-propellant rocket motors at both ends of the missile body. It was to be fired on a ballistic flight path to a target several miles away, take photos with a camera in the centerbody, and fire the rocket motor in the nose to return to the launch site for a parachute landing.
|Photo: via Jane's|
|Ping-Pong (inset: flight path diagram)|
Ping-Pong was launched from a 4-inch tube, and picked up a slide-on four-fin assembly from the top of the tube. When the return motor fired over the target area, this fin assembly slid back to the "nose" (now the tail) for stability on the return flight. Ping-Pong prototypes were actually flight-tested in late 1964, but the project was apparently abandoned thereafter.
Specifications for the Ping-Pong rocket are not available.
 John W.R. Taylor (ed.): "Janes's All the World Aircraft, 1966-1967", Jane's, 1966
 Space Lists Website: The Weird & Wonderful World of Rocketry
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