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.
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 Soun 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.
Instrumented Loki I and Deacon rockets were successfully balloon launched (Rockoons) from shipboard off the coast of Greenland in cosmic-ray studies by State University of Iowa research group. Army Ordnance supplied JPL-developed Loki rockets and ONR sponsored the project.
First successful demonstration of Rockair technique (resarch rocket launched from aircraft) by ONR and University of Maryland team, a 2.75-inch FFAR rocket fired from a Navy F2H-2 aircraft to an altitude of approximately 180,000 feet. Rockair technique first suggested by Herman Oberth (1929) and others.
Thirty-six Rockoons (balloon-launched rockets) were launched from Navy icebreaker, U.S.S. Glacier, in Atlantic, Pacific, and Antartic areas ranging from 75 N. to 72 S. latitude, as part of the U.S.-IGY scientific program headed by James A. Van Allen and Lawrence J. Cahill of the State University of Iowa (SUI). These were the first known upper atmosphere rocket soundings in the Antartctic area.