There is usually a conventional way to do things—and then there is the Alaska way, one grounded in the homesteader make-do-with-whatever-you’ve-got mentality. Sometimes the Alaska approach is not the best, but circumstances can dictate that it is the only possibility. That was so back in 1968 when the Poker Flat Research Range job got its start. Since then, this rocket range has developed into a major facility that is now the Western Hemisphere’s primary high-latitude site for launching scientific rockets. Its location in central Alaska, just north of Fairbanks, has proven ideal for the study of the aurora and other related phenomena occurring at high latitude. Unique in various other ways, Poker Flat is the only major launching facility built, owned, and operated by a university, namely the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This is the story of how that odd situation came about, in part because of the crash of a B-52 carrying hydrogen bombs at far-off Thule, Greenland, in early 1968.
Pages 203-234 of this book contain a table showing the 302 major rockets launched from Poker Flat from 1968 to 2005.