Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nike Zeus A


American anti-ballistic missile. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x TX-135 + 1 x Zeus A

Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1959-08-26. Last Fail Date: 1959-12-16. Maximum range: 320 km (190 mi).

Gross mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).
Height: 13.30 m (43.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.91 m (2.98 ft).
Thrust: 2,002.00 kN (450,067 lbf).
Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).
First Launch: 1959.08.26.
Last Launch: 1960.05.25.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Nike Zeus First anti-ballistic missile tested by US. Protoypes were deployed operationally from the mid-Pacific test base as nuclear-tipped ASAT missiles. Follow-on Spartan system deployed very briefly in 1970's. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Launch Sites
  • White Sands White Sands Missile Range occupies an area 160 x 65 km in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, across the Sacramento Mountain range from Roswell. In the 1930's, Robert Goddard, after surveying weather conditions and population densities, had selected Roswell for his pioneering rocket tests. White Sands, a true desert area, was even more unpopulated than Roswell. German advances in rocketry during World War II impelled the US Army to begin programs to exploit this technology. The White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long-range rockets on 9 July 1945. Seven days later the first atomic bomb was exploded at Trinity Site, near the north boundary of the range. The first launch of a Tiny Tim rocket was on 26 September 1945. On 11 October a Tiny Tim boosted a WAC Corporal rocket from the tower. This was the first use of Launch Complex 33, later to be used for V-2, Nike, Viking, Corporal, Lance and Multiple Launch Rocket System testing. More...
  • White Sands LC38 Nike Zeus launch complex. LC 38 (Army Launch Area Five) was originally built in the 1960's for test of the Nike Zeus anti-ballistic missile. The Nike Zeus system required elaborate infrastructure to house the large missiles, and even larger assembly of radars, computers, and electronics. There were two R&D Zeus Launch Cells and later one tactical Launch Cell. In 1969 LC-38 was modified for test of the Patriot surface-to-air missile system, which eventually was developed to be capable against short-range ballistic missiles. The complex continued to be used for Patriot testing into the 21st Century. More...

Associated Stages
  • Nike Zeus-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 5,000 kg. Thrust 2,000.00 kN. More...

Nike Zeus A Chronology


1959 August 26 - . 17:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 101 1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1959 October 14 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1959 December 16 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 3. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1960 February 3 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC94. Launch Pad: FIX?. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 105 4.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1960 March 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 5.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1960 May 25 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Nike Zeus. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus A. LV Configuration: Nike Zeus A 7.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

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