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A Nike-Cajun in launch position

The Nike-Cajun was a two-stage sounding rocket built by combining a Nike base stage with a Cajun upper stage. It was launched 714 times between 1956 and 1976 and was the most frequently used sounding rocket of the western world. The Nike Cajun had a launch weight of 698 kg (1538 lb), a payload of 23 kg (51 lb), a launch thrust of 246 kN (55,300 lbf) and a maximum altitude of 120 km (394,000 ft). It had a diameter of 42 cm (1 ft 4½ in) and a length of 7.70 m (25 ft 3 in). The maximum speed of the Nike-Cajun was 6,760 km/h (4,200 mph).

The Cajun stage of this rocket was named for the Cajun people of south Louisiana because one of the rocket's designers, J. G. Thibodaux, was a Cajun.

The Nike-Cajun configuration was also used by one variation of the MQR-13 BMTS target rocket.[1]


  • 1st stage: Allegheny Ballistics Lab. X216A2 solid-fueled rocket; 246 kN (55,000 lb) for 3 s
  • 2nd stage: Thiokol TE-82-1 Cajun solid-fueled rocket; 37 kN (8,300 lb) for 2.8 s


  1. Parsch 2002

External links

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