OrganicMarble's answer nicely summarizes the rocket. Here is some additional information I happened to run across today.
There is some quite nice vintage footage of a Farside Rocket Launch found in The Rocketry Blog post Farside Rocket – Flight of a Rockoon.
The post also shows this image, the Rockoon in it's ground launching jig is shown at bottom left:
From DesignationSystems.net's Aeronutronics Farside
Source, Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford
In 1957, Aeronutronic Systems built the Farside (sometimes spelled Far Side) research rocket under contract from the USAF's Office of Scientific Research. The goal of Project Farside was to send a small scientific payload to an altitude as high as possible with then existing solid-propellant rocket technology. The altitude goal was tentatively set at 6400 km (4000 miles).
The Farside rocket was a four-stage vehicle using existing solid-propellant motors. The first stage consisted of four Thiokol Recruit rockets, the second stage used a single Recruit, the third stage used four Grand Central Arrow II motors (a development of the Loki), and the fourth stage was a single Arrow II. For an initial boost in altitude, the whole rocket was carried aloft by a very large (106000 m3 (3750000 cu.ft)) balloon. Farside was suspended in vertical attitude in an aluminum structure below the balloon, and at an altitude of 30 km (19 miles), it was fired straight through the balloon. The first two stages were stabilized by aerodynamic fins, while the 3rd and 4th stage were spin-stabilized. After burnout of the final stage, the nose cone had reached a speed of almost 29000 km/h (18000 mph) at 122 km (76 miles) altitude. The payload weighed about 1.4-3.3 kg (3-5 lb), and could obtain and transmit data on particle and electromagnetic radiation, the magnetic field, and interplanetary gases and dust.
Length 7.3 m (24 ft)
Weight 890 kg (1970 lb)
Speed 29000 km/h (18000 mph)
Altitude >3200 km (2000 miles)
Propulsion 1st stage: 4x Thiokol Recruit solid-fueled rocket; 167 kN (37600 lb) each for 1.56 s
2nd stage: Thiokol Recruit solid-fueled rocket; 167 kN (37600 lb) for 1.56 s
3rd stage: 4x Grand Central Arrow II solid-fueled rocket; 10.1 kN (2270 lb) each for 1.78 s
4th stage: Grand Central Arrow II solid-fueled rocket; 10.1 kN (2270 lb) for 1.78 s
- Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
- Mark Wade: Encyclopedia Astronautica
- Jonathan McDowell: Launch Vehicles Database
From the RocketryForum.com 2011 thread Project Farside:
First through fourth stages? (click for full size)