Encyclopedia Astronautica
Jupiter A



jupitecz.jpg
Jupiter C
Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva
American orbital launch vehicle. The Jupiter A was a modified Redstone missile fitted with Jupiter inertial navigation and control system elements. It also tested Hydyne fuel and other engine modifications for the Jupiter C re-entry vehicle test booster.

LEO Payload: 11 kg (24 lb). Failures: 13. First Fail Date: 1955-09-22. Last Fail Date: 1957-10-31. Development Cost $: 92.500 million in 1959 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 1.994 million in 1956 dollars.

AKA: Juno I.
Gross mass: 29,060 kg (64,060 lb).
Payload: 11 kg (24 lb).
Height: 21.20 m (69.50 ft).
Diameter: 1.78 m (5.83 ft).
Thrust: 369.00 kN (82,954 lbf).
Apogee: 95 km (59 mi).
First Launch: 1955.09.22.
Last Launch: 1958.06.12.
Number: 23 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • A4 The V-2, known as the A4 to its developers, was the basis for most of the rocketry that exists in the world today. It was ineffective as a weapon of war, but represented a quantum leap in technology. The A1, A2, A3, and A5 were steps in the development of the missile. Later versions - the A6 through A12 - were planned to take the Third Reich to the planets. More...
  • Redstone Redstone was the first large liquid rocket developed in the US using German V-2 technology. Originally designated Hermes C. Redstones later launched the first US satellite and the first American astronaut into space. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Von Braun American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Von Braun, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC6 Redstone, Jupiter launch complex. Pad 6 supported its first Redstone launch on 20 April 1955, three months before the complex was finally accepted by the U.S. Government. In addition to Redstone and Jupiter launches, the complex supported Explorer and Pioneer missions and all six Redstone /Mercury suborbital flights. On 31 January 1964, Complexes 5 and 6 were reassigned to become part of the USAF Space Museum. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC5 Redstone, Jupiter launch complex. Pad 5 supported its first Jupiter A launch on 19 July 1956. In addition to Redstone and Jupiter launches, the complex supported Explorer and Pioneer missions and all six Redstone /Mercury suborbital flights. On 31 January 1964, Complexes 5 and 6 were reassigned to become part of the USAF Space Museum. More...

Associated Stages
  • Redstone Lox/Alcohol propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 28,440/3,125 kg. Thrust 414.34 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 265 seconds. More...

Jupiter A Chronology


1955 September 22 - . 05:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-11. FAILURE: Excessive temperature in tail section caused malfunction of control.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi). RS-11 was launched at 0051 hours EST from AMR after a three-hour hold. The flight was unsuccessful. The LOX container pressure and the combustion chamber decreased 50 seconds after lift-off. The temperature of Fin Number 1 went out of measuring range 72 seconds after lift-off. The servo battery current dropped to zero and the stabilised platform lost its reference. The range safety officer gave the emergency cut-off signal at 79 seconds. Impact occurred approximately 21,000 yards from the launch pad. The RS-11 was the first flight with the complete guidance system. Missed aimpoint by 118,800 m.

1955 December 6 - . 00:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-12.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). RS-12 was launched from AMR at 1946 hours EST. The flight was successful. The actual range was 144.79 nm; .31 nm over; and 200 meters right of the intended impact point, The primary test objective was to test the complete guidance system. This was the first successful flight with the inertial guidance system. Missed aimpoint by 228,800 m.

1956 March 15 - . 00:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-18. FAILURE: Early cut-off caused by Incorrect guidance cut-off equation pre-setting. ST-80 gyro spilled at 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). The first Jupiter A launching, by ABMA at Cape Canaveral. RS-18 was launched at 1936 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The scheduled launching date of this missile was 13 March. Three holds were called because of LOX difficulties, telemetry difficulties, and replacement of a gate valve. The actual range was 133.58 nm; 10.3 nm under; and 5.66 nm right of the intended impact point. Separation occurred before the missile gained its correct velocity. Improper assumption of propellant flow for the trajectory calculation was primarily responsible for the incorrect cut-off. The primary test objectives were to test the complete guidance and control system to establish the performance qualities of the complete missile system. Missed aimpoint by 19,100 m.

1956 May 16 - . 04:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-19. FAILURE: Missile programmed to cut-off at fuel depletion - this combined with known stability problems caused excessive miss distance..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). RS-19 was launched at 2322 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 169.4 nm; 13 nm over the intended impact point. Cut-off wee given by the alcohol depletion switch that sensed alcohol injector pressure drop-off. Takeoff occurred 0.156 seconds after firing. The missile followed the correct trajectory with no obvious deviation. Missile cut-off occurred later than predicted and caused the missile to impact approximately 6.5 nm long, During descent the warhead turned left, causing impact to be several miles to the left of the aiming azimuth line. The primary test objectives were to test the angle-of-attack meter hardware (Jupiter control). Missed aimpoint by 25,100 m.

1956 July 19 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-13. FAILURE: ST-80 malfunction at theta switch operation - 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Summary: CC-13 was launched at 0345 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 142.457 nm; .780 nm over the intended impact point. This was the first Chrysler fabricated and assembled missile. Missed aimpoint by 1,071 m..

1956 August 8 - . 08:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-20.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). RS-20 was launched at 0325 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 139.72 nm; 0.3 nm over the intended impact point. The primary teat objectives were to test the accuracy of the guidance system and to acquire data for the establishment of design criteria for the Jupiter. This was the first time that the combustion chamber pressure was controlled. Missed aimpoint by 175 m.

1956 October 18 - . 09:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-14.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). CC-14 was launched at 0405 hours EST from AMR after a series of short holds. The flight was successful. The actual range was 137.870 nm; 72 meters over and 338 meters right: of the intended impact point. The primary objectives were to test the accuracy of the guidance system and to test angle of-attack meters for the Jupiter. Missed aimpoint by 346 m.

1956 October 31 - . 02:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-25. FAILURE: Malfunction of yaw gyro at approximately 10 sec. Ground cut-off command given.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). RS-25 was launched at 2104 hours EST from AMR. The flight was not successful. The behaviour of the missile appeared normal for the first 13 seconds, an early roll disturbance having been smoothly eliminated. Starting at 13 seconds after range zero, the gyro yaw signal indicated increasing yaw for a few seconds and the tracking devices at the same time showed increased displacement to the left of the standard trajectory. The malfunction apparently occurred between the yaw gyro potentiometer output and the outputs of the yaw amplifier of the mixing computer. The primary test objective was to test power plant performance. Missed aimpoint by 264,900 m.

1956 November 14 - . 02:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-28. FAILURE: Human error in propellant loading plus programmed fuel depletion cut-off..
  • Jupiter A/Sandia PL - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). RS-28 was launched at 2105 EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 152.4 nm; 9.51 nm over; and 1.5 kilometres left of the intended impact point. The missile carried the LEV-3 rather than the ST-80 guidance system and used fuel depletion cut-off. The primary test objective was to test the Sandia payload. Missed aimpoint by 19,500 m.

1956 November 29 - . 13:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-15.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 0823 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 138.969 nm; .137 nm over and 122 meters left of the intended impact point, a radial miss distance of 260 meters. The primary test objectives were to test the accuracy of the complete guidance system and to test Jupiter control components. Missed aimpoint by 255 m.

1956 December 19 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A RS-22. FAILURE: First experimental flight with Hydyne. Specific impulse exceeded predicted values. Re-entry system intentionally unstable to test Jupiter alpha control..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). The flight was successful, Actual range was 401.6 nm; 84.9 nm over the intended impact point. The missile used Hydyne fuel. The primary test objective was to test the control of an unstable missile configuration by using an angle-of-attack meter (boom type) in the ascending phase (Jupiter control). Missed aimpoint by 157,200 m.

1957 January 19 - . 01:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-16. FAILURE: Platform roll control malfunction at 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 2037 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 61.6 nm; 400 meters left; and 0.21 nm over the intended impact point. The primary objective was to test the accuracy of the guidance system when the missile is fired in a short range trajectory at an extreme attitude to range ratio. The missile closely followed the predicted trajectory for a successful flight which terminated 70 meters beyond and 360 meters to the Left of the expected impact point at 61.553 nm range. The short range trajectory was programmed with an extreme altitude-to-range ratio so the guidance system would be subjected to the most difficult short range expected in future tactical application. Missed aimpoint by 400 m.

1957 March 14 - . 08:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-32. FAILURE: Platform interference caused control malfunction at re-entry..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). The first missile shipped directly from the Chrysler Factory to the test site to be flight tested was launched at 0312 hours EST from AMR The flight was successful. Actual range was 138.178 nm; 2.2 nm under; and 1250 meters left of the intended impact point. The missile functioned properly until 182 seconds when an unexplainable pitch deviation caused a slow tilting of the missile top section. The cut-off function at 120 seconds and the separation function at 135 seconds, after flight zero time, were both satisfactory. Missed aimpoint by 4,183 m.

1957 March 28 - . 01:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-30.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 2022 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful from the standpoint of missions accomplished, with cut-off time 112 seconds and separation time 126 seconds after range zero time. Impact point was 220 meters short and 320 meters to the right, a radial miss distance of 390 meters, primary objective was to test the accuracy of the guidance system when the missile was fired in a short range trajectory at an extreme altitude to range ratio. Missed aimpoint by 390 m.

1957 June 26 - . 11:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-31. FAILURE: Human error in calculation of takeoff weight..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 0609 hours EST from AMR to test performance of the inertial guidance system, angle-of-attack meters, separation of explosive screws, and impact and radar fusing systems. Range instrumentation difficulties and deteriorating weather delayed the firing from the initially scheduled time of 0230 hours EST. The flight was successful. Actual range was 135.425 nm; 0.42 nm over; and 389 meters left of the intended impact point. Missed aimpoint by 785 m.

1957 July 12 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-35. FAILURE: Control system malfunction at re-entry..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 0130 hours EST from AMR. The primary test objective was to test the accuracy of the guidance system. The flight was successful. Actual range was 130.125 nm; 0.15 nm over; and 285 meters left of the intended impact point. All missions were successfully accomplished. The missile followed the predicted trajectory very closely. Survey of the impact crater indicated a miss distance of 50 meters over and 284 meters to the left of the predicted impact point, giving a radial miss distance of 389.5 meters. Missed aimpoint by 289 m.

1957 July 26 - . 04:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-37.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 2317 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 126.227 nm; 147 meters under; and 182 meters left of the intended impact point. The primary test objective was to flight test warhead and fuse functioning as a system. A survey of the warhead impact point: indicated a miss distance of 147 meters short, 182 meters to the left of the predicted impact point, or a radial miss distance of 234 meters. Missed aimpoint by 235 m.

1957 September 11 - . 02:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-38. FAILURE: ST-80 pitch program malfunction..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at: 2141 hours EST from AMR. The flight was unsuccessful, The missile impacted 14.77 nm from the launch pad. Mechanical failure of the guidance tilt program caused the missile to assume a very steep trajectory which resulted La. a short range flight. Missed aimpoint by 111,000 m.

1957 October 2 - . 19:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-39.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Launched at 1429 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful, the impact point was 445 metres long and 452 meters to the right of the predicted impact point, giving a radial miss distance of. 634 meters. This was the first flight test of the NAA A-6 engine with a sea level thrust of 78,000 pounds. Missed aimpoint by 572 m.

1957 October 31 - . 04:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-41. FAILURE: Loss of inter-compartment pressure at 68 sec. Ground cut-off command given.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi). Launched at 2352 hours EST from AMR. The flight was unsuccessful. Actual range was 48 nm, whereas the predicted range wee 130.588 nm. At 68 seconds, a disturbance occurred in the lateral accelerometer and computer systems. Erroneous guidance instructions were transmitted to the control systems, causing a sharp yaw at 70 seconds. Cut-off was initiated at 98.1 seconds. One of the objectives was to indoctrinate troops for participation in the tactical portions of the countdown. Missed aimpoint by 151,000 m.

1957 December 11 - . 00:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-42.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Successfully fired at 1936 hours EST from AMR. The missile followed the trajectory very closely and impacted on target. All missions were successfully accomplished. The predicted impact range was 141.895 nm. The miss distance has bean certified as 153 meters radial, 94 meters over, and 121 meters to the left of the predicted impact point. The primary objective of the rest was to flight test Hardtack adaptation kit components as passengers. Missed aimpoint by 209 m.

1958 January 15 - . 01:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-45.
  • Hardtack pod test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Successfully fired at 2024 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful in that all missions were accomplished.. The missile followed its predicted trajectory closely. Impact was 370 meters over and 86 meters to the tight of the predicted impact point, a radial miss distance of 380 meters. This wee the fifth complete flight test of warhead and fuse system. Missed aimpoint by 286 m.

1958 June 12 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-54.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

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