The rockoon (a portmanteau of rocket and balloon) was a solid fuel rocket that, rather than being immediately lit while on the ground, was first carried into the upper atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon. Then, once separated from the balloon at its maximum height, the rocket was automatically ignited. This achieved a higher altitude, since the rocket did not have to move through the lower, thicker air layers.
The original concept of "rockoons" was developed by Cmdr. Lee Lewis, Cmdr. G. Halvorson, S. F. Singer, and James A. Van Allen during the Aerobee rocket firing cruise of the USS Norton Sound on March 1, 1949.
From July 17 to July 27, 1956, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) shipboard launched eight Deacon rockoons for solar ultraviolet and X-ray observations at ~30° N ~121.6° W, southwest of San Clemente Island, apogee: 120 km.
Read more about this topic: X-ray Astronomy
Other articles related to "rockoons, rockoon":
... magazine reported in 1959 "Van Allen's 'Rockoons' could not be fired in Iowa for fear that the spent rockets would strike an Iowan or his house." So Van Allen convinced the U ... Coast Guard to let him fire his rockoons from the icebreaker Eastwind that was bound for Greenland ... The second Rockoon behaved in the same maddening way ...
... Van Allen develop the idea for the Rockoon during the Aerobee rocket firing cruise of the U.S.S ... As TIME reported in 1959, "Van Allen’s ‘Rockoons’ could not be fired in Iowa for fear that the spent rockets would strike an Iowan or his house." So Van Allen convinced ... Coast Guard to let him fire his rockoons from the icebreaker Eastwind that was bound for Greenland ...