Picture of a Rockoon rocket-and-balloon platform

A Rockoon combination rocket-and-balloon platform. The balloon carried a string of corner reflectors, which dangled the rocket. The Rockoon was tracked by radar.

In the 1950s, NRL used a balloon-rocket combination called Rockoon in experiments to investigate solar radiation and cosmic rays. The plastic balloon lifted the Deacon rocket to 70,000 feet where it was fired by a pressure-sensing device. Using this technique, the rocket could carry a 50-pound payload to an altitude of more than 80 miles.