Encyclopedia Astronautica
Jupiter C



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Jupiter C
Credit: © Thomas Kladiva - Thomas Kladiva
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Jupiter C
Jupiter C - COSPAR 1958-Alpha
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Jupiter Cc
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Jupiter C launch
Credit: NASA
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Redstone engine
Credit: NASA
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Jupiter C
Credit: NASA
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Wresat
Credit: © Mark Wade
American orbital launch vehicle. Re-entry vehicle test booster and satellite launcher derived from Redstone missile. The Jupiter A version of the Redstone missile was modified with upper stages to test Jupiter re-entry vehicle configurations. Von Braun's team was ordered to ballast the upper stage with sand to prevent any 'inadvertent' artificial satellites from stealing thunder from the official Vanguard program. Korolev's R-7 orbited the first earth satellite instead. The Jupiter C was retroactively named the 'Juno I' by Von Braun's team.

LEO Payload: 11 kg (24 lb). Failures: 5. First Fail Date: 1956-09-20. Last Fail Date: 1958-10-23. 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: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1956.09.20.
Last Launch: 1958.10.23.
Number: 9 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Explorer A American earth magnetosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1958.02.01 (Explorer 1) to 1958.03.26 (Explorer 3). Discovered Van Allen radiation belts. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space. More...
  • Explorer B American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1958.07.26, Explorer 4. Mapped project Argus radiation. More...
  • Explorer C American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1958.08.24, Explorer 5. More...
  • Beacon 1 American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1958.10.23 (Beacon 1) and 1959.08.15 (Beacon 2). More...

Associated Engines
  • A-7 Rocketdyne Lox/Hydyne rocket engine. 416.2 kN. Out of Production. Version of Redstone engine for Jupiter-C test vehicle, with Hydyne fuel and 140 seconds burn time. Flew 1956-1959. Gas generator, pump-fed. Thrust 370 kN at sea level. Isp=265s. More...
  • Sergeant Multiple-source solid rocket engine. 6.660 kN. Out of Production. Used in Jupiter C, Juno 2. Isp=235s. First flight 1956. More...

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 Programs
  • Explorer Series of satellites launched by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the exploration of the space environment (micrometeoroids, charged particles, radiation, etc) from both earth orbital and heliocentric orbital locations. 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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC26A Redstone, Jupiter launch complex. The LC-26 dual launch pad complex was constructed for the U.S. Army's Redstone and Jupiter missile programs in 1956-1957. At least 36 Redstone, Jupiter, Jupiter C and Juno II launches were conducted 1957-1964. More...

Associated Stages
  • Jupiter C Lox/Hydyne propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 28,430/3,890 kg. Thrust 416.18 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 265 seconds. Redstone missile, stretched, modified with different propellants to serve as first stage of IRBM nose cone/orbital test vehicle. More...
  • Sergeant Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 42/21 kg. Thrust 6.66 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 235 seconds. More...

Jupiter C Chronology


1954 June 25 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Project Orbiter begun. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Spacecraft: Explorer A. In a meeting, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Frederick C. Durant III, Alexander Satin, David Young, Dr. Fred L. Whipple, Dr. S. Fred Singer, and Commander George W. Hoover agreed that a Redstone rocket with a Loki cluster as the second stage could launch a satellite into a 200-mile orbit without major new developments. This became a joint Army-Navy study project after meeting at Redstone Arsenal on August 3. Project Orbiter was a later outgrowth of this proposal and resulted in the launching of Explorer I on January 31, 1958.

1954 August 15 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Von Braun proposes launch of US satellite. - . Payload: Explorer A. Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Summary: Von Braun report 'A Minimum Satellite Vehicle Based on Components Available from Developments of the Army Ordnance Corps' in response to June Pentagon meeting proposes $ 100,000 to launch satellite by Redstone..

1955 August 24 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Redstone recommended as satellite launcher. - . Payload: Explorer A. Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Research and development Policy Council (DOD) unanimously recommended that the time-risk factor in the scientific satellite program be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Defense for determination as to whether a Redstone backup program was indicated.

1956 February 1 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • ABMA established. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Summary: Army activated the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., to weaponize the Redstone and to develop the Jupiter IRBM..

1956 September 20 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C RS-27. FAILURE: Early cut-off due to human error in tanking ..
  • Jupiter C re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 1,097 km (681 mi). First Jupiter C (a three-stage ABMA-JPL Redstone missile) was launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., attained an altitude of 1096 km and traveled 5,300 km downrange. The first three-stage re-entry missile, was fired at 0145 hours EST from AMR. This missile attained an estimated range of 3,335 ST miles, an altitude of 682 ST miles, and reached Mach 18 velocity. The primary objective of the firing was the propulsion and separation tart of a multi-stage vehicle. The missile was a four-stage configuration with the last stage inactive. The first stage was an elongated Redstone missile, the second and third stages were up of 11 and 3 six-inch scaled SERGEANT rockets, respectively. The payload consisted of approximately 20 pounds of instrumentation attached to the inactive fourth stage. The flight was successful and the sequence of operations occurred as programmed. This vehicle could have obtained sufficient velocity to place it in orbit, if the last stage had been activated. First deep penetration of space. Serial number coding for early Redstones and related vehicles used the following substitution cipher: 1234567890 = HUNTSVILLEX

1957 May 15 - . 07:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C RS-34. FAILURE: Loss of instrument compartment pressure at 134 seconds causing failure of pitch gyro prior to cut-off..
  • Jupiter re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 655 km (406 mi). The second three-stage re-entry missile, was launched at 0255 hours EST from AMR to test the thermal behaviour of a scaled-down version of the Jupiter nose cone during re-entry. The separated nose cone, which weighed 314 pounds, should have reached a nominal range of 1,212 nm. The missile began. to pitch up at 134 seconds, and impact was 420 nm short of the intended impact point. The composite missile consisted of three stages. The first stage was an elongated Redstone using alcohol and liquid oxygen as propellant. The second and third stages were made up of clusters of 11 and 3 scaled-down Sergeant solid propellant rockets, respectively. The nose cone was not recovered; however, instrument contact with the nose cone through re-entry indicated that the ablative-type heat protection for warheads was successful. Nose Cone Recovery Test

1957 August 8 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C RS/CC-40.
  • Jupiter re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi). First Nose Cone Recovery. Army-JPL Jupiter-C fired a scale-model nose cone 1,200 miles down range from AMR with a summit altitude of 600 miles. Recovery the next day of aerodynamic nose cone using ablation, resolved reentry heating problem for Jupiter missile. Nose cone was shown to the Nation on TV by President Eisenhower on November 7.

    Fired from AMR at 0159 hours EST, impacted at the predicted range. This success proved conclusively that the planned ablative-type heat protection for Jupiter warheads was satisfactory. The missile was a three-stage configuration--the first stage an elongated Redstone missile, the second and third stages 11 and 3 six-inch scaled Sergeant rockets, respectively. The one-third scale Jupiter nose cone was attached to the final stage with scheme for separation provided. The nose cone travelled to a 1,168 nm range, reached a velocity of 4,004 m/sec, and experienced a total heat input at stagnation point at 95% of that for the full scale nose cone at 1,500 nm. Naval units recovered the scaled nose cone according to plan.


1957 October 5 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Von Braun promises first US satellite in 60 days. - . Payload: Explorer A. Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; McElroy; Medaris. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Summary: Von Braun briefs Secretary of Defence McElroy on Jupiter-C/Redstone for immediate US satellite launch. Promises launch in 60 days. Medaris says 90..

1957 November 8 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Von Braun ordered to launch satellite. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; McElroy. Program: Explorer. Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy directed the Army to proceed with the launching of the Explorer earth satellites. This order, in effect, resumed the Orbiter project that had been eliminated from the IGY satellite planning program on September 9, 1955. Von Braun was to modify two Jupiter-C missiles (modified Redstones) and attempt to place an artificial earth satellite in orbit by March 58.

1958 February 1 - . 03:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS-29.
  • Explorer 1 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: USA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1970-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 4 . COSPAR: 1958-Alpha-1. Apogee: 1,859 km (1,155 mi). Perigee: 347 km (215 mi). Inclination: 33.2000 deg. Period: 107.20 min. Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, was launched by a modified Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter-C. Explorer I, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, carried the U.S.-IGY (International Geophysical Year) experiment of James A. Van Allen and resulted in the discovery of the radiation belt around the earth.

1958 March 5 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-26. FAILURE: Fourth Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 2 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: USA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1958-03-05 . COSPAR: F580305A.

1958 March 26 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS-24.
  • Explorer 3 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: USA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1958-06-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 6 . COSPAR: 1958-Gamma-1. Apogee: 2,799 km (1,739 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 115.70 min. Summary: Radiation, micrometeoroid data. .

1958 July 26 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-44.
  • Explorer 4 - . Payload: Explorer B. Mass: 8.00 kg (17.60 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer B. Decay Date: 1959-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 9 . COSPAR: 1958-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 1,352 km (840 mi). Perigee: 257 km (159 mi). Inclination: 50.2000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Mapped project Argus radiation. .

1958 August 24 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-47. FAILURE: First Stage collided with upper stages. Second Stage ignited in wrong direction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Explorer 5 - . Payload: Explorer C. Mass: 17 kg (37 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer C. Decay Date: 1958-08-24 . COSPAR: F580824A.

1958 October 23 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-49. FAILURE: Upper stages separated prior to burnout. Structural failure after 149 sec due to vibration disturbances generated by the spinning payload.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Beacon 1 - . Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon 1. Decay Date: 1958-10-22 . COSPAR: F581023A. NASA¾with the Army as executive agent¾attempted to launch a 12-foot-diameter inflatable satellite of micro-thin plastic covered with aluminum foil known as BEACON. Launched from AMR by a Juno I¾a modified Redstone, the payload prematurely separated prior to booster burnout.

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