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    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will begin a three-month experiments from the deck of a ship in mid-February.

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    Background: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will begin a three-month experiments from the deck of a ship in mid-February.

    A series of 50 or more scientific experiments will be launched from a converted aircraft carrier at locations off the west coast of South America from 5 degrees north to 60 degrees south of the equator.

    The project is part of the NASA sounding rocket program being conducted during the International Quiet Sun Year (IQSY) 1964-65, a period of minimum solar flare and sunspot activity.Experiments are being conducted by scientists throughout the world to study IQSY phenomena.Expedition data will be correlated with their findings.

    Experiments in the sea-going expedition will be carried aboard solid-fueled Nike-Apache and Nike-Cajun sounding rockets capable of lifting 50-pound payloads to altitudes exceeding 100 miles.In addition, some 40 or 50 Areas and Hasp weather rockets will be fired to obtain meteorological data.Payloads will impact in the ocean.

    About 10 teams of researchers, representing universities, NASA field centers and other federal agencies, will fly experiments on an almost daily basis.They include scientists from the universities of Michigan, Illinois, and New Hampshire; Illinois Institute of Technology; Goddard Space Flight Center and Langley Research Center of the NASA; Cambridge Research Laboratory of the Air Force; Sandia Corp.; Naval Ordinance Test Station, China Lake (U.S.Navy); U.S.Weather Bureau; National Bureau of Standards.

    The expedition has invited scientists of the Instituto Geofisico, Lima, to participate in experiments off the coast of Peru.

    The sea-going launch platform will be the USNS (correct) Croatan, one of a class of World War II escort aircraft carriers about 500 feet long and 80 feet wide.Under contract with NASA the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) will furnish the ship and man it with Civil Service personnel.It normally operates as a cargo ship in world wide MSTS service.

    Following loading operations at Baltimore, the USNS Croatan is scheduled to leave port no earlier than Feb.14.After a two-day check of tracking equipment off Wallops Island, (Va.,) the ship will sail south through the Panama Canal.

    Ports of call include Balboa, Canal Zone; Callao (Lima), Peru; and Valdivia, Chile.Scientific personnel and equipment will be loaded or unloaded at each port.The number of scientists on board will vary from 18 to 32.

    Mobile equipment will be positioned on the ship for launching and tracking scientific experiments.Most of the telemetry, radar, communications, and power equipment is mounted in a dozen or more vans and trailers.Rocket launchers will be mounted on the ship's stern.

    Expedition project management is assigned to NASA's Wallops Station, Wallops Island, Va.Project manager is Germain s.Brown, Assistant Chief of the Wallops Range Engineering Division.

    The launch and tracking equipment on board will be operated by a complement of about 30 Wallops Station engineers and technicians headed by Robert T.Long as director of launch operations and James W.Gray as engineer in charge of instrumentation.

    The project is under the overall direction of NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications.

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