The Jupiter IRBM was developed for the US Army. By the time development was complete, the mission and the missile was assigned to the US Air Force, which had its own nearly identical missile, the Thor. Jupiters were stationed in Turkey and Italy in the early 1960's, but withdrawn in secret exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet R-5 missiles from Cuba. The Jupiter was used as the first stage of the relatively unsuccessful Juno II launch vehicle, and proposed for the Juno III and Juno IV. Jupiter tooling and engines were used to build the much larger Juno V / Saturn I launch vehicle.
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.
Fired from AMR at 1512 hours EST to test the design version of the airframe and rocket engine. The flight terminated at 93 seconds because of propellant slosh. The missile achieved an altitude of 60,000 feet. The flight was partially successful.
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.
Personnel from the Langley Research Center visited the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to open negotiations for procuring Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles for manned satellite projects.
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.
Space Task Group officials visited the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to determine the feasibility of using the Jupiter launch vehicle for the intermediate phase of Project Mercury, to discuss the Redstone program, and to discuss the cost for Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles.
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.
NASA requested the Army Ordnance Missile Command, Huntsville, Alabama, to construct and launch eight Redstone launch vehicles and two Jupiter launch vehicles in support of Project Mercury manned and unmanned flights.
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.
Space Task Group and Army Ballistic Missile Agency personnel met at Huntsville, Alabama, to discuss Redstone and Jupiter flight phases of Project Mercury. During the course of the meeting the following points became firm: (1) Space Task Group was the overall manager and technical director of this phase of the program, (2) ABMA was responsible for the launch vehicle until spacecraft separation, (3) ABMA was responsible for the Redstone launch vehicle recovery (this phase of the program was later eliminated since benefits from recovering the launch vehicle would have been insignificant), (4) Space Task Group was responsible for the spacecraft flight after separation, (5) McDonnell was responsible for the adapters for the Mercury-Redstone configuration, and (6) ABMA would build adapters for the Mercury-Jupiter configuration. Because many points could only be settled by detailed design studies, it was decided to establish several working panels for later meetings.
Mercury-Redstone-Jupiter Study Panel Number IV (choice of trajectory, aerodynamics, and flight loads) met at Redstone Arsenal. Subjects studied included pilot safety, simulation of entry from orbit, length of zero-g time, missile stability and aerodynamics, ascent accelerations, and range. This group reconvened on March 13, 1959.
Panel Number I (Design Subcommittee) met at Redstone Arsenal for the first time to discuss integration requirements for the Mercury spacecraft with the Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles.
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.
Mercury-Redstone and Mercury-Jupiter test objectives were discussed in a meeting at Langley between Space Task Group and Army Ballistic Missile Agency personnel. At that time it was decided that the first flights of both the Redstone and Jupiter would be unmanned. The second flights would be 'manned' with primates, and the Jupiter phase would end at that point. The six remaining Redstones would be used in manned flights for astronaut training.
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.
The Space Task Group, in the process of negotiations with the Army Ordnance Missile Command on the cost of Redstone and Jupiter boosters in support of Project Mercury, received revised funding estimates for study covering Contract HS-44 (Redstone) and HS-54 (Jupiter).
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.
The order for Jupiter launch vehicles in support of Project Mercury was canceled because the same or better data could be obtained from Atlas flights.
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.
Scheduled for launch at 0430 hours EST, was fired from AMR at 1645 hours EST. The nose cane housed several NASA biological specimens, including 14 mice.
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.
Successfully fired from AMR at 2031 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 664.8 nm. Nose cone impacted 0.9 nm over and 1.0 nm left of the target. This was the first medium range flight for a tactical prototype.
Fired from AMR at 1908 hours EST. The original countdown of 480 minutes was shortened to 240 minutes. The flight was successful in all phases. The nose cone impacted 0.3 nm over and 2.0 nm right of the 2,299.4 nm range.
Fired from AMR at 1903 hours EST to a prescribed distance of 300 nm. The flight was successful in all phases. Impact was 0.3 nm to the right of the 300 nm range.
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
The 28th R&D firing was from AMR at 1919 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 1,299 nm. The flight successfully accomplished all primary and secondary missions. The nose cone impacted 0.65 nm short and 0.52 nm right of the intended target.
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.