Operational features of rocket R-11 allowed to expand its
applications for research. Of a particular interest was
its application for geophysical observations in the Earth's
areas to which, e. g. to the polar regions of the USSR,
the delivery of previously designed rockets was impossible.
R-11A was provided with a special payload fairing protecting
the container from heat exposure and aerodynamic loads in
flight and a special transfer compartment to attach the
container, accommodate a pneumatic separation system, switching
equipment, and an attenuation system. Rocket R-11A has been
designed to take measurements of atmospheric pressure at
different altitudes from 60 to 160 km, define optical properties
of upper atmospheric layers, measure concentration of positive
ions, record a number of the container collisions with micrometeorites.
Rocket P-11A was first launched from the Novaya Zemlya in
October 1958. The rocket reached an altitude of 103 km.