The Baby Age

Thus things were going smoothly with rocket development in Japan, while, in Rome in spring 1954, a meeting was held to prepare the 3rd IGY (International Geophysical Year) for the first time after the end of the Second World War. The IGY was a big project which was to try to clarify the global feature of the earth under collaborative observation by scientists from all parts of the world. The 3rd IGY was held under the powerful leadership of the victorious nations (USA, UK and USSR) with rapid technical innovation after the War for the background. The preparatory meeting proposed two special projects; (1) antarctic expedition and (2) observation of the upper atmosphere by sounding rockets. Among the participants in this preparatory meeting were a group of Japanese scientists. US scientists proposed that they use American sounding rockets, but they fixed their eyes on the AVSA group. The AVSA group, which at first aimed at developing high-speed space vehicles, was assigned the important task of supporting Japanese scientists to join the 3rd IGY.

Thus Japanese space development began to tread the thorny path with a tight scram of space science and space technology from its very beginning.

The next rocket following Pencil was a two-stage Baby (8 cm in diameter, 120 cm in total length and 10 kg in total weight).There were three kinds of Babies. Baby-S checked the flight performance by tracking optically the thick smoke ejected from an onboard smoke-producing agent.

Baby-T was the first Japanese rocket to carry a telemetry system.

Baby-R succeeded in retrieving onboard instruments.

A Pioneering Effort ---- Pencil INDEX Under the Limelight ----The Kappa Era