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HISTORY OF USS NORTON SOUND Cont.
Pre-Nasa Aeronautics and Astronautics Chronology as related to USS Norton Sound
1947, November 28: Norton Sound was assigned to Operational Development Force for use as an experimental rocket-firing ship, alterations initiated at Naval Shipyard at Philadelphia in March 1948, and completed October 1, 1948.
1948, January 26: First guided-missile test ship, U.S.S. Norton Sound, launched its first missile, a Loon, off NAMTC, Point Mugu, Calif.
1948, During March: Concept of launching of small high-performance rockets suspended from a balloon above most of the atmosphere (later called "Rockoons"), developed by Cmdr. Lee Lewis, Cmdr. G. Halvorson, S. F. Singer, and J. A. Van Allen during Aerobee firing cruise of U.S.S. Norton Sound.
1950, January 10: U.S.S. Norton Sound began 19-day firing cruise in Alaskan waters, launching two Aerobees, one Lark and one Loon. Eight scientists connected with Aerobee upper atmosphere research program and Army, Navy, and Air Force observers made the cruise.
1950, May 11: NRL Viking No. 4 research rocket fired from the U.S.S. Norton Sound Near Jarvis Island in the Pacific, at the intersection of the geographic and geomagnetic equators, obtaining cosmic-ray and pressure-temperature data. It set a 106.4-mile altitude record for an American single-stage rocket and was the first firing of the Viking from shipboard.
1952, July 29: First Rockoon (balloon-launched rocket) launched from icebreaker Eastwind off Greenland by ONR group under James A. Van Allen. Rockoon low-cost technique was conceived during Aerobee firing cruse of the Norton Sound in March 1949, and was later used by ONR and University of Iowa research groups in 1953-55 and 1957, from ships in sea between Boston and Thule, Greenland.
1958, August 27: The first Argus experiment (ARPA) was conducted (based upon October 1957 proposal of N. C. Christofilos of the University of California, Livermore), in which a small A-bomb was detonated beyond the atmosphere over the South Atlantic. Launched from the rocket ship Norton Sound, the initial flash was followed by an auroral luminescence extending upward and downward along the magnetic lines where the burst occurred