Sparta (rocket)

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Drawing of Sparta rocket.svg
Function Sounding rocket
Launch system
Manufacturer ABMA/Chrysler
Country of origin  United States
Height 21.8 metres (72 ft)
Diameter 1.78 metres (5 ft 10 in)
Mass 30,000 kilograms (66,000 lb)
Stages 3
Payload to LEO 45 kilograms (99 lb)
Associated rockets
Family Redstone
Comparable Jupiter-C
Juno I
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites Woomera Test Range LA-8
Total launches 10
Successes 9
Failures 1
First flight 28 November 1966
Last flight 29 November 1967
Notable payloads WRESAT
First stage - Redstone
Engines 1 A-7
Thrust 416 kilonewtons (94,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 265 sec
Burn time 155 seconds
Fuel LOX/Hydyne
Second stage - Antares-2
Engines 1 X-259
Thrust 93 kilonewtons (21,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 293 sec
Burn time 36 seconds
Fuel Solid
Third stage - BE-3
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 34
Burn time 9 seconds
Fuel Solid

The Sparta was a three-stage rocket that launched Australia's first Earth satellite, WRESAT, on 29 November 1967.

Sparta on the pad at Woomera

Sparta used a surplus American Redstone as its first stage, an Antares-2 as a second stage, and a BE-3 as a third stage. Several Spartas were launched from 1966–67 from Woomera Test Range in Woomera, South Australia as part of a joint United States–United Kingdom–Australian research program aimed at understanding re-entry phenomena, and the U.S. donated a spare for the scientific satellite launch into polar orbit.


  • Wade, Mark. "Redstone". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-04-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>