Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva
AKA: B-78;Jupiter;Mk. 1;PGM-19A;SM-78. Status: Retired 1963. First Launch: 1957-03-01. Last Launch: 1963-01-23. Number: 36 . Payload: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Thrust: 734.00 kN (165,009 lbf). Gross mass: 54,400 kg (119,900 lb). Height: 18.40 m (60.30 ft). Diameter: 2.67 m (8.75 ft). Span: 2.67 m (8.75 ft). Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).
Von Braun's team started development of the Jupiter program in 1954 as a 1600 km (1000 mile) range intermediate range ballistic missile. Interservice rivalry led to the USAF being authorized to develop the Thor IRBM in 1955 to the same requirement. However the Army was to continue to develop Jupiter as a sea-launched missile for the Navy. The Navy didn't buy handling and loading large liquid [propellant rockets aboard its ships, and began development of the solid propellant Jupiter-S in February 1956. This allowed the Navy to divorce the Army from its program, and continue development of the Jupiter-S as the Polaris.
Tests of the Jupiter's Rocketdyne S-3D engine began in November 1955, and von Braun used flight tests of Redstone missiles to test Jupiter components from March 1956. These modified Redstone missiles were designated Jupiter A and Jupiter C, and were eventually used to launch the first American satellites. However these Jupiter designations caused endless confusion to the press and later space historians.
The Jupiter IRBM was finless and stubby-looking, a result of the original air-mobility requirement as well as to fit in submarine launch tubes. It used a gimbaled rocket engine stability and control. In November the Air Force was given responsibility for surface-to-surface missiles with a range over 320 km (200 miles). This made Jupiter an Air Force program, a poor orphan to the Air Force's own Thor program to the same requirement. But after the successful test of a Soviet ICBM in the summer of 1957, it was decided to complete development and production of both missiles. The USAF would deploy Thor to the UK and Jupiter to Italy and Turkey until it could deploy enough ICBM's to counter the (nearly non-existent) Soviet ICBM threat. The first of 30 Jupiter missiles became operational in June 1961 in Italy and the first of 15 in November 1961 in Turkey. However the deployment actually reduced American security, since it resulted in the Soviet Union made a tit-for-tat deployment of SS-12 IRBM's to Cuba. This precipitated in the Cuba Missile Crisis in October 1962, resulting in an agreement by the US to withdraw the Jupiter from Europe if the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles from Cuba. All of the Jupiters were withdrawn between January and June 1963. A total of 100 missiles had been built.
The Army's Jupiter differed from the USAF Thor in being ground-mobile, albeit requiring a caravan of 20 vehicles to deploy, survey, set-up, fuel, and launch a single missile. While Thor was developed into the Delta launch vehicle, which remained in use in the next century, Jupiter was abandoned except for a few Juno launches made by the von Braun team for NASA. However from Juno came the Super Juno, later called the Saturn I, using a cluster of Jupiter tanks and engines to produce the world's first heavy-lift launch vehicle.
Development Cost $: 84.500 million. Recurring Price $: 12.425 million in 1960 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost 1985$: 0.735 million in 1960 dollars. Maximum range: 2,600 km (1,600 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Standard RV: Mk. 1. Standard warhead: W49. Warhead yield: 1,440 KT. CEP: 0.97 km (0.60 mi). Boost Propulsion: Liquid rocket, Lox/Kerosene. Maximum speed: 14,520 kph (9,020 mph). Initial Operational Capability: 1958. Total Number Built: 98. Total Development Built: 38. Total Production Built: 60.
Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch
Chrysler SM-78-PGM-19 Jupiter
The Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) was originally developed by the U.S. Army as a long-range successor to its PGM-11 Redstone missile, but was eventually taken over and deployed by the USAF for political reasons. It was also the only one of the United States' early stategic ballistic missiles with some mobility.
The Army's Redstone Arsenal started the Jupiter program in 1954 as a 1600 km (1000 mile) range development of the PGM-11 Redstone. When the SM-75-PGM-17 Thor IRBM development was approved in 1955, the Army was ordered to develop Jupiter in collaboration with the U.S. Navy as a sea-launched missile. However, a liquid-fueled rocket was incompatible with the Navy's ship-borne safety requirements, and therefore the Navy began development of a solid-fueled Jupiter derivative (called Jupiter S) in February 1956. The Jupiter S was soon cancelled, however, being replaced by the UGM-27 Polaris SLBM. Tests of the Jupiter's Rocketdyne S-3D engine had been underway since November 1955, and flight tests of Jupiter components on modified PGM-11 Redstone missiles, designated Jupiter A, began in March 1956. Also in 1956, Chrysler was awarded a contract for all future production of Jupiter missiles. The Jupiter C was a further modified Jupiter A to test the new ablative reentry nose cone of the forthcoming Jupiter IRBM. It was equipped with a cluster of small rockets around the nose cone working as a second stage. First flown in September 1956, the Jupiter C earned fame when launching Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite, into orbit on 1 February 1958.
The Jupiter IRBM itself differed significantly from the Redstone and Jupiter A-C missiles. Stemming from the original Navy requirements to store it in submarines, it was much shorter and fatter, and used a gimballed rocket nozzle instead of fins for stability and control. Most important for the later operational career of the Jupiter was a decision by the Secretary of Defense in November 1956 to settle a dispute between the Army and the Air Force about the responsibility for surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. It was decided that the USAF would be given the sole control for all missiles with a range over 320 km (200 miles). From this moment, Jupiter was officially an Air Force program, and the USAF in turn assigned the designation SM-78 to the Jupiter IRBM. Although the range restriction for Army missiles was lifted less than a year later, the Jupiter remained with the USAF.
Development of the Jupiter was still continued by the Army, and in October 1957 the first successful SM-78 launch occurred. The USAF was initially somewhat reluctant to accept a second IRBM besides its "own" SM-75-PGM-17 Thor, but this was changed in November 1957, when DOD officially announced to deploy both the Thor and Jupiter IRBMs. In 1959, the USA had finally negotiated with Italy and Turkey to base the Jupiter in these countries. The first SM-78 squadrons became fully operational in Italy and Turkey in June and November 1961, respectively. After a few months, control of the Jupiter squadrons was turned over to Italian-Turkish troops. In total, 30 missiles were deployed to Italy, and 15 to Turkey.
The SM-78 was a single-stage rocket, powered by a single Rocketdyne S-3D engine fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen. This was the same engine as in the SM-75-PGM-17 Thor. However, the SM-78 was a more effective IRBM than the SM-75, because of its mobility. Although a Jupiter launch site was far from easy to move, requiring more than 20 vehicles, it did significantly increase the missile's survivability in a pre-emptive attack, because the location of the Jupiters could not be pre-targeted by the enemy. Also, the SM-78's ablative reentry vehicle flew through the atmosphere at much higher speed than the SM-75's Mk.2 RV, making it less susceptible to wind drift and therefore significantly more accurate. The Jupiter's guidance unit was an ST-90 all-inertial navigation system by Ford Instrument.
The SM-78 did not stay in service very long. In January 1963 the USA announced to withdraw all Jupiters from Italy and Turkey, and by July that year, the last missile had been removed. The U.S. Navy's deployment of the UGM-27A Polaris SLBM (Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile) had made land-based IRBMs redundant. In June 1963, immediately prior to retirement, the SM-78 had been redesignated as PGM-19A. Until 1960, when production ceased, about 100 Jupiter IRBMs had been built by Chrysler.
Unlike many other retired USAF ballistic missiles, the SM-78 was not used as a space launch vehicle. The Jupiter formed the first stage of NASA's Juno II launch vehicle, but this was only moderately successful.Specifications
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for PGM-19A:
|Length||18.3 m (60 ft)|
|Diameter||2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||49800 kg (110000 lb)|
|Speed||16100 km-h (10000 mph)|
|Ceiling||610 km (380 miles)|
|Range||2980 km (1850 miles)|
|Propulsion||Rocketdyne LR79-NA (Model S-3D); 666 kN (150000 lb)|
|Warhead||W-49 thermonuclear (1.45 MT) in a Goodyear RV|
 James N. Gibson: "Nuclear Weapons of the United States", Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 1996
 Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
 Redstone Arsenal Historical Information Website
Credit: © Mark Wade
Credit: © Mark Wade
Following Navy withdrawal from the Jupiter IRBM program, separate Army and Navy Ballistic Missile Committees were established under chairmanship of respective service secretaries. Navy withdrawal based on interest in solid-propellant Polaris as ship-based IRBM.
The first Jupiter flight was fired at 1651 hours EST from AMR. The missile achieved a 48,000 foot altitude. Flight terminated at 7.4 seconds because of missile break-up. Failure was attributed to overheating in the tail section. The trajectory to this point was as predicted.
Army Jupiter IRBM was fired 1,500 miles, limit of its designed range, and to an altitude of 250-300 miles, the first successful launching of an IRBM. Fired from AMR at 1308 hours EST to test the range capability and performance of rocket engine and control system. Although the missile was 253 nm short of its estimated 1,400 nm impact point, this was the first successful flight of the Jupiter. All phases of the test were successful during this first firing of the IRBM in the western world
The fourth Jupiter was fired from AMR at 1602 hours EST over IRBM range and was the second successful flight of the series. The range error was 27.5 nm with a 36.5 nm lateral error. Range was predicted for 146 nm. LOX was cut off at 170 seconds. All flight missions were fulfilled satisfactorily. Separation occurred 5 seconds after burnout, as programmed, This was the first test of separation of body from thrust unit.
The fifth Jupiter was fired from the AMR at 2007 hours EST. This was the first flight with a heat protected nose cone. The ST-90 inertial guidance stabilised platform was operated with partially closed circuits. Cut-off was effected by the guidance system at 170.37 seconds. Since fuel was not depleted, flight time was 9.5 seconds longer than had been predicted for an approximate 1,100 nm range. The range error was 10.2 nm with a 3.4 nm lateral error. The nose cone survived re-entry and impacted in the general vicinity of the predicted impact point. Again, a successful flight.
Fired from AMR at 2110 hours EST. Main stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile passed through the critical dynamic pressure period and followed the prescribed trajectory until 202 seconds of flight when the engine thrust was terminated. From an analysis covering the period before thrust termination, mechanical failure of the turbo-pump stopped the flow of propellants to the combustion chamber causing a complete loss of thrust. Telemetry signals ceased at 232 seconds. The missile was at an altitude of 65,000 feet when an explosion was observed from the Test Centre above the horizon. The long range mission of this flight was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were considered successful.
Fired from AMR at 1507 hours EST. The main-stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile followed the prescribed trajectory. Thrust ended abruptly at 116.87 seconds of flight which resulted in a short-range impact. Failure was again attributed to turbo-pump malfunction. The long-range mission. was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were successfully accomplished. The abrupt shutdown of the power plant resulted in a range of approximately 149 nm and an altitude of approximately 50 nm.
AM-5, carrying America's first tactical type re-entry nose cone, was fired from AMR at 0005 hours EST. This was also the first flight test. for first and second stage separation. Impact was 28.3 nm under and 15.6 nm to the right at a range of about 1,275 nm after approximately 960 seconds of flight. In less than five hours, the nose cone was recovered - the world's first recovery of an IRBM nose cone.
Fired from AMR at 0404 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 1,241.3 nm. The nose cone impacted 1.0 nm short and 1.5 nm to the right of the predicted impact point. This was the first flight test of the complete inertial guidance system. The nose cone recovery mission was successful. This was also the second successful flight test of a full scale tactical type nose cone, as well as a successful flight test of the Jupiter lightweight, high explosive warhead.
Fired from AMR at 1815 hours EST. The countdown was normal. Operations were interrupted by one hold -- a 15 minute delay for minor adjustments. Ignition, main-stage, and lift-off were normal. The missile followed the pre-selected trajectory closely during powered flight, though cut-off was effected by fuel depletion rather than by pre-set guidance cut-off. The nose cone impacted 39 nm short and 15.7 nm to the left of the pre-calculated range of 1,246 nm. Jupiter 7 was the first flight test of the warhead and fuse system. This also marked the second flight test of the :Jupiter all-inertial guidance system, the fourth flight test of the NAA S-3D engine operating at 150,000 pounds thrust, and the first flight test of the solid propellant spin rocket and vernier motor.
Fired from AMR at 2249 hours EST. The missile was destroyed after 49 seconds of erratic flight caused by fire in the tail section. The fire was believed to have started by a pin-hole leak near the thrust transducer which burned through the fuel and LOX transducer lines. This was the first Jupiter missile to use swivelled turbine exhaust for roll contral, also first use of solid vernier control.
Gordo launched into space. Fired from AMR at 0353 hours EST. The missile's nose cone impacted in the pre-selected target area at a range of approximately 1,302 nm. The significant mission of the missile was the flight of a South American squirrel monkey `Gordo' up to and down from outer space. Although nose cone recovery efforts failed because the float mechanism attached to the nose cone did not function, telemetry data provided useful biomedical information and disclosed that the Navy-trained squirrel monkey had withstood the space flight and reentry phase without any adverse physiological effects. Gordo was in a weightless state for 8.3 minutes, he experienced a 10g pressure in takeoff, and a 40g pressure upon reentry at 10,000 miles per hour. The flight was considered one of the outstanding achievements of space research. The impact was 5.2 nm over and 0.75 nm to the right of impact point. The overshoot was caused by interaction which occurred at separation between the booster and aft sections. A temporary cable connecting the two bodies had not been removed prior to launch.
Tactical Test. The first Chrysler production qualification missile was fired from AMR at 1910 hours EST. The nose cone impacted in the pre-selected target area at a range of 1,302 nm. Miss distance was 3 nm over and 1 nm to the left of the target. The overshoot was caused by failure of the vernier engine to cut off high resistance of the squib firing circuit. Primary missions were successfully accomplished.
Fired from AMR at 1850 hours EST. The primary mission of impacting the nose cone in a pre-calculated target (MILS Network) was successfully accomplished, The nose cone impacted in the 1,302 nm target area, 2.8 nm over, with no lateral deviations. Again, the vernier engine ran to cut-off rather than the commanded 14 seconds -- a near perfect flight. For the first rime, missile roll was controlled by a turbine exhaust nozzle designed to eliminate problems experienced on previous flights.
Space Task Group personnel visited the Atlantic Missile Range at the invitation of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to observe a Jupiter launch vehicle firing and the procedures followed on the day preceding the firing. The group toured the blockhouse and received briefings on various recorders that might be used in the centralized control facility for Mercury-Redstone and Mercury-Jupiter flights.
Fired from AMR at 1934 hours EST. The primary mission of impacting a nose cone in a pre-calculated target area (MILS Network) was successfully accomplished with an impact of 0.8 nm under end 5.0 nm to the left of the 1,302 nm range. The lateral miss was believed to have been caused by a drifting gyro.
Fired from AMR at 2047 hours EST. All primary missions were essentially successful, although the impact was 69 nm short and 4.9 nm to the right of the 1,302 nm predicted impact point. This undershoot was due to thrust controller deviation which commanded the exceedingly high thrust level during the main power flight pre-selected flight path. Cut-off occurred at 144 seconds of flight.
Fired from AMR at 0052 hours EST to test impact accuracy. This shot may be considered as having hit the target. The impact was: .26 nm over and 0.4 nm to the left of the predicted point of impact. Accuracy of the MILS Network was approximated at plus-or-minus 0.25 nm. All primary and secondary missions were accomplished except for photographic recording of the second separation. This could not be accomplished because of the firing date.
Able and Baker recovered after spaceflight. Fired from AMR at 0235 hours EST. The flight was successful with impact ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 nm from the target. The missile travelled a 1,302 nm range. The significant mission of the missile was to test the effects of cosmic radiation, increased gravity, and weightlessness on live passengers and biomedical experiments of material housed in the nose cone. On board were an American-born rhesus monkey, Able; a squirrel monkey, Baker; and the biomedical experiments -- yeast , corn, mustard seeds, fruit-fly larvae, human blood, mould spore, and fish eggs. Able and Baker were recovered unharmed within one and one-half hours after lift-off. This milestone marked the first recovery of living creatures from a flight through near space. The biomedical experiments were for NASA analysis. Telemetry data disclosed that the responses of the animals were normal for the conditions they were experiencing. During the boost phase, when the higher g-loads were being sustained, body temperature, respiration, pulse rate, and heartbeat rose but were well within tolerable limits. During the weightless period along the trajectory arc, the physiological responses of Able and Baker approached normal - so near, in fact, that according to telemetry data, Baker appeared either to doze or to become drowsy. Upon reentry, the responses rose again, but at landing the animals were nearing a settled physiological state. This flight was another milestone proving that life could be sustained in a space environment.
Fired from AMR at 2001 hours EST to test missile accuracy. All primary and secondary missions were successfully accomplished and impact was well within 1 nm of the pre-selected point, approximately 1,302 nm downrange -- a miss distance of only 0.48 nm short and 0.09 nm to the right.
A short range (300 nm) IRBM, was fired from AMR at 2030 hours EST. The nose cone impacted 0.03 nm short and, 0.22 nm to the right, of the intended target. This was the first Jupiter missile to be programmed for a short range flight. All primary and secondary missions were accomplished.
Fired from AMR at 2028 hours EST. The primary mission of impacting the nose cone in a pre-calculated target area was successfully accomplished . The missile covered a pre-calculated range of 1,299.4 nm, with the nose cone impacting within 1.25 nm of the predicted point. In addition to the usual ST-90 Stabiliser Platform, the missile carried a second system for relative accuracy and for drift investigations. It also housed a telemetry system. A significant mission was to determine environmental flight conditions.
The first full range tactical prototype, was fired from AMR at 2220 hours EST. All missions assigned to the flight was successfully accomplished. The missile covered a prescribed range of 1,600.448 nm, with the nose cone impacting 0.9 nm short and 0.6 nm to the right. This was the fourth Chrysler-assembled missile to be flight tested.
Fired from AMR at 1938 hours EST to a pre-selected range of 1,299.4 nm. The nose cone impacted 0.56 nm short and 0.09 nm right of the impact point. The test successfully accomplished all intended missions. This was the first highly successful, Chrysler-assembled Jupiter fired in the test program sad was the first fired without static firing.
Fired from AMR at 1948 hours EST to a prescribed range of: 1,299.4 nm. The nose cone impacted 0.04 nm over and 3.27 nm to the left. All missions were successfully accomplished despite elevated temperatures in the tail section. The primary mission of this flight was to test the two-way deflector launch section and to analyse elevated temperatures in the tail
Jupiter missile Live System Test 217, the first to be fired under simulated tactical conditions using GSE prescribed for the Jupiter deployed to NATO I, was fired from AMR at 1102 hours EST. The missile successfully accomplished all primary and secondary missions. The nose cone impacted 1.1 nm over and 0.2 nm right of the pre-determined target 962.5 nm downrange.
Jupiter Missile Combat Training Launch 209, the first in a series of 12 CTL firings, was launched from AMR to a prescribed range of 1514 nm. The nose cone impacted .79 nm over and 2.19 nm right of the intended target. All missions were accomplished. The missile followed the intended flight path and performed within the accuracy requirements of the Jupiter system. IAF troops conducted the firing after LOD of MFSC completed the preliminary checkout. The primary mission of the test woe to evaluate the capabilities of launch crews under operational alert conditions.
The second Jupiter to be fired under the operational control of NATO troops in the Combat Training Launch program was fired from AMR at 1919 hours and 06 seconds EST to a range of 1,516 nm. The missile was originally scheduled for firing on 3 August but was postponed because of problems with the fuel probe in the fuel start tank and the micro-switch on the fuel pumping lever arm which controls the fuel flow rate. All missions assigned to the missile and to the NATO training launch crew were successfully accomplished.
The third NATO operational control Combat Training Launch was fired from AMR at 1737 hours and 24 seconds EST to a prescribed range of 1,516 nm. The missile was well constrained to the intended flight path and within accuracy requirements of the Jupiter system. The missile impacted in the target area and all missions assigned to this test were successfully accomplished.
Combat Training Launch fired from AMR at 1317 hours and 54.1 seconds EST to a predicted impact point of 1,514 nm from the firing site. All functions of the flight were normal up to 153 seconds, at which time fuel depletion was reached and normal guidance cut-off was not achieved. The missile impacted approximately 230 miles short of the intended target. All missions assigned to the NATO training launch crew were accomplished.