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Title: Rockets, Missiles, and Spacecraft of the National Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian Institution
Author: Murphy, Lynne C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         Rockets, Missiles, and
                           Spacecraft of the
                     National Air and Space Museum

                       _SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION_

                           _LYNNE C. MURPHY_

   _Published by the Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.,

    [Illustration: Museum Logo]

Welcome to the National Air and Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian
family. The flight of the Wrights in 1903 opened the door to ever more
rapid and powerful ascents into the third dimension. This country,
putting its scientific and technical talents to work, has produced an
array of fascinating and complex machines. Fortunately, nearly all of
the most significant ones have been preserved, and a sampling of them is
included in this booklet. I hope that you will enjoy it, and that it
will add to your understanding of what air and space progress has meant
to all of us.

    [Illustration: Michael Collins]

  Michael Collins
  Director, National Air and Space Museum

    [Illustration: _Viking 2_—bound for Mars—is launched aboard Titan
    Centaur on September 9, 1975.]

_Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data_

  National Air and Space Museum.
  Rockets, missiles, and spacecraft of the National Air and Space
          Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
          Bibliography: p.
  1. Astronautics—United States—Exhibitions.
  2. National Air and Space Museum.
  I. Murphy, Lynne C.
  II. Title: Rockets, missiles, and spacecraft of the National Air and
          Space Museum ... TL506.U6W376 1976 629.4′0973′0740153 76-6961

  Printed in the U.S.A.
  Designed by Elizabeth Sur

_Negative numbers and photo credits_

1, A-42103 (SI); 2, 74-H-1066 (NASA); 3, 74-H-1244 (NASA); 4, A-3757
(SI); 5, 72-8670 (SI); 6, 58-Explorer I-1 (NASA); 7, 62-Mariner II-34
(NASA); 8, 63-Mariner II-26 (NASA); 9, 62-MA 6-74 (NASA); 10, 62-MA6-111
(NASA); 11, 65-H-934 (NASA); 12, 65-H-937 (NASA); 13, 69-H-1199 (NASA);
14, 69-H-1367 (NASA); 15, 76-4880-81 (SI); 16, P-14054 (JPL, NASA,
Pasadena, California); 17, 73-H-993 (NASA); 18, 74-H-239 (NASA); 19,
75-15926 (SI); 20, 74-H-1220 (NASA); 21, A-50483 (SI); 22, 65-H-817
(NASA); 23, 76-1706 (SI); 24, 76-1705 (SI); 25, 71-H-413 (NASA); 26,
62-NC-2 (NASA); 27, 63-ARCAS-1 (NASA); 28, 75-16094 (SI); 29, 75-16228
(SI); 30, 75-16276 (SI); 31, 61-DELTA-4-6 (NASA); 32, 66-H-223 (NASA);
33, VAN-11 (NASA); 34, 67-H-1008 (NASA); 35, 66-H-28 (NASA); 36,
60-TIROS-5 (NASA); 37, 69-H-1915 (NASA); 38, 68-H-111 (NASA); 39,
62-RELAY-17 (NASA); 40, 71-H-1414 (NASA); 41, 69-H-285 (NASA); 42,
66-H-871 (NASA); 43, 76-H-1182 (NASA); 44, 69-H-1986 (NASA); 45, 76-1704
(SI); 46, A-459994 (SI); 47, A-5293 (SI); 48, A-1085 (SI); 49, 75-11488
(SI); 50, A-4554 (SI); 51, 72-H-1240 (NASA); 52, 63-CENTAUR-15 (NASA);
53, 75-13753 (SI); 54, 76-2756 (SI); 55, 76-2687 (SI); 56, 75-H-461
(NASA); 57, 76-4479-6 (SI); 58, 62-MA6-109 (NASA); 59, 71-H-1380 (NASA);
60, 65-H-1021 (NASA); 61, A-5367 (SI); 62, 75-10232 (SI); 63, A-5073
(SI); 64, 75-16091 (SI); 65, 76-1625-11 (SI); 66, 73-733 (SI); 67,
SPACE-12 (NASA); 68, 67-H-1609 (NASA); 69, 64-H-2795 (NASA); 70,
65-H-674 (NASA); 71, 76-1707 (SI); 72, 76-1708 (SI); 73, 73-H-928
(NASA); 74, 71-H-398 (NASA); 75, 68-H-423 (NASA); 76, 68-H-422 (NASA);
77, 75-H-248 (NASA); 78, 75-H-1081 (NASA); 79, 75-H-891 (NASA); 80,
75-H-1077 (NASA); 81, 71-H-525 (NASA); 82, 61-MR3-76 (NASA); 83,
65-H-2355 (NASA); 84, 72-H-734 (NASA); 85, 62-F1-2 (NASA); 86, 67-H-1205
(NASA); 87, 71-H-1416 (NASA); 88, 70-H-1392 (NASA); 89, 71-H-335 (NASA);
90, 74-H-63 (NASA); 91, S-71-45480 (NASA, Johnson Space Center); 92,
72-H-1571 (NASA).


  Introduction                                                          6
  _Milestones of Flight_                                      Gallery 100
  Robert H. Goddard’s Rockets: March 16, 1926, and 1941                 7
  _Sputnik 1_                                                           8
  _Explorer 1_                                                          9
  _Mariner 2_                                                          10
  _Friendship 7_                                                       11
  _Gemini 4_                                                           12
  Apollo 11 Command Module, _Columbia_                                 13
  _Life in the Universe_                                      Gallery 107
  Ponnamperuma Experiments                                             14
  Photomosaic Globe of Mars                                            15
  _Mariner 10_                                                         16
  U.S.S. _Enterprise_                                                  17
  _Satellites_                                                Gallery 110
  Goddard A-Series Rocket, 1935                                        18
  WAC Corporal                                                         19
  Aerobee 150                                                          20
  Farside                                                              21
  Nike-Cajun                                                           22
  ARCAS                                                                23
  Cricket                                                              24
  Viking 12                                                            25
  MOUSE                                                                26
  Agena-B                                                              27
  Science Satellites                                                   28
  Meteorological Satellites                                            30
  Communications Satellites                                            32
  _East Gallery_                                              Gallery 112
  Lunar Module                                                         34
  Lunar Orbiter                                                        35
  Surveyor                                                             36
  _Rocketry and Space Flight_                                 Gallery 113
  Goddard Rockets: May 1926 and “Hoopskirt,” 1928                      37
  19th-Century Rockets: Congreve and Hale                              38
  American Rocket Society: Engines and Parts                           39
  H-1 Engine                                                           40
  RL-10 Engine                                                         41
  JATO Units                                                           42
  LR-87 Engine                                                         43
  Toward 2076: The Future of Rocket Propulsion                         44
  Project Orion                                                        45
  Space Suits                                                          46
  _Space Hall_                                                Gallery 114
  V-2 (A-4)                                                            48
  V-1                                                                  49
  German Antiaircraft Missiles                                         50
  Jupiter-C                                                            51
  Vanguard                                                             52
  Scout                                                                53
  Minuteman III                                                        54
  Poseidon C-3                                                         55
  Skylab                                                               56
  Apollo-Soyuz Test Project                                            58
  M2-F3 Lifting Body                                                   60
  _Apollo to the Moon_                                        Gallery 210
  _Freedom 7_                                                          61
  _Gemini 7_                                                           62
  F-1 Engine                                                           63
  Lunar Roving Vehicle                                                 64
  Apollo Lunar Tools and Equipment                                     65
  Apollo Command Module: _Skylab 4_                                    66
  Moon Rocks                                                           67
  Suggested Reading                                                    68


There is an obvious relationship between aeronautics and astronautics
since the same principles of physics apply and many materials and
techniques of construction are common. Nevertheless, in the decades
following World War II, rocketry, guided missiles, and space flights
were rapidly developing a complex history and lore quite different from
that of aviation. Accordingly, in 1965, the Museum established a
Department of Astronautics parallel with a Department of Aeronautics.

At that time, artifacts in categories of rocket propulsion, guided
missiles, and space-flight programs were placed under curatorial control
of the Astronautics Department. In 1967 the Smithsonian Institution and
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration signed an agreement
which provided for transfer of title to and custody of significant space
artifacts by the Museum after their technical need had passed. Through
provisions of this instrument the preservation and exhibit of this
country’s most important spacecraft, rocket engines, launch vehicles,
and missiles has been assured for posterity.

With the construction of the new Museum building on the Mall literally
dozens of exciting and fascinating astronautical artifacts have been
acquired, some just a few months before our opening in July 1976. All
major artifacts on exhibit at the opening are described herein with
brief historical summaries.

  F. C. Durant III
  Assistant Director, Astronautics
  January 13, 1976

         Robert H. Goddard’s Rockets: March 16, 1926, and 1941

    [Illustration: 1. Robert H. Goddard beside his liquid-fuel rocket
    prior to launch on March 16, 1926.]

    [Illustration: 2. “It looked almost magical as it rose, without any
    appreciable greater noise or flame, as if it said, ‘I’ve been here
    long enough; I think I’ll be going somewhere else’....”—Robert H.

    [Illustration: 3. Rocket with turbopumps on its assembly frame in
    the Goddard shop at Roswell, New Mexico, 1940.]

Robert H. Goddard contributed the first major astronautical breakthrough
on our way to space exploration—a liquid-propellant rocket. A replica of
the first successful rocket of this type is displayed in this hall as is
Dr. Goddard’s last sounding rocket design.

The first of Dr. Goddard’s successful rockets was launched on March 16,
1926. It traveled to an altitude of 12.5 meters (41 feet) powered by
liquid oxygen and gasoline. Its flight lasted 2.5 seconds with an
average speed in flight of about 96.6 kilometers (60 miles) per hour.
Part of the rocket’s nozzle was burned away during the flight, and other
parts were damaged by ground impact; however, pieces of the original
rocket were reassembled and flown again on April 3, 1926.

The last and most advanced of Dr. Goddard’s liquid-propellant rockets
were those tested between 1939 and 1941. This series incorporated most
of the basic principles and elements later used in all long-range
rockets and space boosters. Design improvements for this series included
a fuel system that used turbopumps to force propellants from the tanks
to the combustion chamber. The rocket on display did not fly, because a
malfunction in the umbilical cord caused the engine to shut down shortly
after ignition.

The March 16 rocket replica is from the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration. The 1941 rocket is from Mrs. Robert H. Goddard.

                               Sputnik 1

    [Illustration: 4. Model of _Sputnik 1_, the first man-made object to
    be placed in Earth-orbit.]

_Sputnik 1_, the first man-made object to be placed in orbit around
Earth, was launched by the USSR on October 4, 1957.

A 29-meter (96-foot) rocket with 510,037 kilograms (1,124,440 pounds) of
thrust boosted _Sputnik 1_ into orbit. The satellite’s orbital and radio
data provided scientists with information on atmospheric and electron
densities. _Sputnik 1_ transmitted temperature data for 22 days before
its batteries ran down.

The 83.5-kilogram (184-pound) satellite reentered the earth’s atmosphere
and burned up on January 4, 1958.

This _Sputnik_ model is from the USSR Academy of Sciences.

                               Explorer 1

    [Illustration: 5. Trial firing of a full-size mockup of _Explorer 1_
    on the third-stage assembly of the Jupiter-C launch vehicle.]

    [Illustration: 6. On the launch pad prior to sending the first
    American satellite into orbit. _Explorer 1_, launched January 31,
    1958, discovered the first two circular radiation belts surrounding
    the Earth.]

The International Geophysical Year (1957-58) provided the impetus for
the first official American satellite effort, designated Project
Vanguard in 1955. Vanguard was a civilian effort that relied on a launch
vehicle built especially for the project’s purposes. The launch by the
Soviet Union of _Sputnik 1_ on October 4, 1957, caused the work on
Project Vanguard to go forward under great pressure. When Vanguard Test
Vehicle 3, carrying the first American earth satellite, exploded on its
launch pad on December 6, 1957, United States prestige reached a low

On January 31, 1958, _Explorer 1_ became the first successful American
satellite. It originated in Project Orbiter, a joint study program of
the U.S. Army and the Office of Naval Research—a project that lapsed
after the 1955 decision to designate Vanguard as the official American
satellite effort. Following the _Sputnik_ success, the U.S. Army
Ballistic Missile Agency was instructed to proceed with its satellite

_Explorer 1_’s launch vehicle was a four-stage Jupiter-C rocket
designed, built, and launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency team
headed by Wernher von Braun. The satellite’s instrumentation was
prepared by James Van Allen and George Ludwig of the State University of
Iowa under project direction of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
California Institute of Technology.

_Explorer 1_ measured three phenomena—cosmic ray and radiation levels
(data that led to the discovery of the earth’s radiation belts), the
temperature in the vehicle (important in the design of future
spacecraft), and the frequency of collisions with micrometeorites. There
was no provision for data storage, and therefore the satellite
transmitted its information continually.

_Explorer 1_ was not the only orbiting American satellite for long. In
spite of the early problems, Project Vanguard succeeded in launching the
second American earth satellite on March 17, 1958.

The back-up _Explorer 1_ on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. California Institute of

                               Mariner 2

    [Illustration: 7. Artist’s conception of _Mariner 2_ as it flew by

The first successful interplanetary spacecraft probed the environment of
Venus, Earth’s closest neighbor. _Mariner 2_, working flawlessly, swept
by the hot and cloudy planet at a closest approach of 34,834 kilometers
(21,645 miles) on December 14, 1962.

The journey began with lift-off on August 27 from Cape Canaveral atop an
Atlas Agena-B launch vehicle. During the 109-day trip to the planet,
_Mariner_’s on-board instruments sampled the environment of
interplanetary space and telemetered information to Earth stations.
Ground-based measurements of the Venerian surface temperature were
confirmed by the probe to be around 425° C (800° F).

_Mariner 2_ detected no measurable magnetic field or radiation belts,
indicating that Venus may have a very different history than has Earth.

_Mariner 2_ passed out of tracking range on January 4, 1963, when the
spacecraft was about 87 million kilometers (54 million miles) from
Earth. The probe is presently in orbit around the Sun.

The back-up craft on display would have been launched toward Venus if
_Mariner 2_ had failed to reach the planet.

Prime contractor for _Mariner 2_ was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
California Institute of Technology.

_Mariner 2_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    [Illustration: 8. Enlarged facsimile of coded _Mariner 2_ tape
    transmitted December 14, 1962, from the vicinity of Venus. Encircled
    portions show microwave and infrared coding.]

                              Friendship 7

    [Illustration: 9. Close-up of _Friendship 7_ atop Atlas launch
    vehicle with escape tower.]

    [Illustration: 10. Launch of America’s first man in orbit on
    February 20, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.]

On the morning of February 20, 1962, a 29-meter (95-foot) Mercury Atlas
launch vehicle rose from Cape Canaveral carrying John H. Glenn, Jr., in
his Mercury spacecraft, _Friendship 7_. This was the lift-off for the
first U.S.-manned orbital space flight.

In slightly more than 5 minutes the Atlas accelerated _Friendship 7_ to
its orbital velocity of 28,230 kilometers per hour (17,540 miles per
hour). Astronaut Glenn completed three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.
From the orbital path, which varied between 160 and 260 kilometers (100
and 160 miles) above Earth, the first American in orbit described the
four sunsets he saw and reported that he was able to distinguish a
ship’s wake on the ocean below.

Mercury spacecraft had been used in two previous manned suborbital
flights which proved that it was a safe vehicle for manned space
flights. Later orbital Mercury missions demonstrated that man could live
and work in space. _Friendship 7_’s flight tested the performance of the
pilot in weightless conditions and the interaction of the human pilot
with the various automatic systems in the spacecraft.

_Friendship 7_ reentered the earth’s atmosphere and splashed into the
Atlantic Ocean only 64 kilometers (40 miles) from the planned site.
Glenn and _Friendship 7_ were recovered by the U.S.S. _Noa_ near Grand
Turk Island in the Bahamas.

The Mercury spacecraft consists of a conical pressure section topped by
a cylindrical recovery-system section.

During flight, the Mercury spacecraft was equipped with three
454-kilogram (1000-pound) thrust solid-propellant retro-rockets mounted
in a package on the heat shield. After the three rockets were fired to
slow the spacecraft, the retro-rocket package was jettisoned.

Prime contractor for _Friendship 7_ was McDonnell Aircraft Company.

_Friendship 7_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space

                                Gemini 4

    [Illustration: 11. _Gemini 4_ lifts off, June 3, 1965.]

    [Illustration: 12. Well over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million
    miles) later, _Gemini 4_ is hoisted from the Atlantic Ocean.]

Floating at the end of a gold “umbilical cord” attached to the _Gemini
4_ spacecraft, Edward H. White II became the first American to have only
his space suit for protection from the space environment. White directed
his movements during the historic 20-minute “walk” with a hand-held
maneuvering device, while command pilot James A. McDivitt took pictures
from within the craft.

Launched June 3, 1965 atop 3 Titan II booster, the _Gemini 4_ spacecraft
made 62 revolutions during the four-day flight. Although _Gemini 4_
failed to rendezvous with the Titan II’s second stage as planned,
because the stage fell away too rapidly to catch, astronauts McDivitt
and White did demonstrate that the Spacecraft could be moved in and out
of its orbital plane with ease.

The crew also photographed the Earth successfully. The pictures brought
back from _Gemini 4_ enhanced interest in photographic surveys of Earth
from space.

_Gemini 4_ splashed down in the Atlantic at 12:12 P.M. (EST) on June 7,
1965. McDivitt and White were on the deck of recovery carrier U.S.S.
_Wasp_ in less than one hour.

The spacecraft frame is titanium and it is covered with steel and
beryllium shingles. Displayed here is the basic spacecraft which
includes the pressurized cabin vessel, the heat shield at the base, and
the cylindrical reentry attitude-control system section on the nose.

The heat shield is a curved section of fiberglass honeycomb filled with
a phenolic-epoxy resin. During reentry, the craft’s kinetic energy was
converted to heat by friction with the atmosphere. The heat-shield
material melted and vaporized and was blown away from the craft,
carrying the heat with it. This process is called ablation.

The _Gemini_ was a true spacecraft, capable of maneuvering widely in
space, changing its configuration for different phases of the flight,
and allowing the two-man crew to work both inside and outside the craft.

Prime contractor for _Gemini 4_ was the McDonnell Aircraft Company.

_Gemini 4_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  Length              5.6 m. (18 ft., 4 in.) in orbit; 2.3 m. (7 ft.,
                        4 in.) at splashdown
  Base diameter       Adapter, 3.1 m. (10 ft.); spacecraft, 2.3 m. (7
                        ft., 6 in.)

                   Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia

    [Illustration: 13. Three inflated bags repositioned the spacecraft
    following splashdown. The astronauts watch pararescue-man shut hatch
    during recovery.]

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil A.
Armstrong radioed Houston from Tranquility Base on the Moon. The first
footprint had been left on the lunar surface. It was 10:56 P.M. (EDT) on
July 20, 1969.

Neil Armstrong was Apollo 11’s commander, Michael Collins was
command-module pilot, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was the lunar-module
pilot. Their journey began at 9:30 A.M. (EDT) when their Saturn 5 lifted
off under 3.4 million kilograms (7.5 million pounds) of thrust.

The three-man crew made the 383,000-kilometer (238,000-mile) journey to
the Moon in three days, traveling in command-module _Columbia_.

At 1:46 P.M. (EDT), on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin separated the lunar
module from the _Columbia_ and began the descent to the lunar plain.

During the 2 hours and 47 minutes that the astronauts were out on the
surface of the Moon, they collected samples, deployed instruments, took
photographs, and explored Tranquility Base around the lunar module.

After completing their tasks on the Moon, the astronauts rendezvoused
with Collins in the command module. Jettisoning the ascent stage, they
began the three-day journey back to Earth.

Splashdown occurred in the central Pacific Ocean on July 24. The
astronauts climbed out of this command module and were recovered by
helicopters that took them to the carrier U.S.S. _Hornet_.

Prime contractor for Apollo 11’s command module was North American
Rockwell Corporation.

The _Columbia_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space

    [Illustration: 14. View of the Apollo 11 Command Module with
    Astronaut Collins aboard as seen from the Lunar Module. Terrain in
    background is the far side of the Moon.]

                        Ponnamperuma Experiments

    [Illustration: 15. Equipment for Ponnamperuma Experiments.]

These experimental devices were constructed by Cyril Ponnamperuma and
his colleagues to show that various forms of energy may be used to
produce organic molecules of the type found in living organisms.

In one experiment, electron beams were fired through a glass tube which
contained a mixture of gases believed to resemble the atmosphere of
primitive Earth. A number of organic molecules, including amino acids,
the “building blocks” of life, were formed as a result.

In another experiment—the apparatus on display—electric spark discharges
were used to add energy to a mixture of gases and water vapor contained
in the device’s upper sphere. The lower sphere contained a solution of
water and salts, a solution believed to resemble the slightly salty
water of ancient seas. When heat and sparks were added to the gases and
salty water, a number of complex organic molecules formed.

The results of these experiments supported the hypothesis that cosmic
rays and other high-energy particles bombarding the primitive atmosphere
could have been responsible for the origin of life on Earth.

The experimental devices were constructed and donated by Cyril
Ponnamperuma and the Laboratory of Chemical Evolution, University of

                       Photomosaic Globe of Mars

    [Illustration: 16. Photomosaic globe of Mars made of more than 1500
    computer-corrected pictures taken by _Mariner 9_ in 1971 and 1972.
    The residual North Pole ice cap is at the top.]

This 1.2-meter (4-foot) diameter globe of Mars was assembled from
photographs taken by _Mariner 9_, an unmanned spacecraft that orbited
the planet from November 14, 1971, until October 27, 1972. This globe is
the first such photomosaic ever made of a planet.

Launched on May 30, 1971, _Mariner 9_ succeeded in photographing the
entire surface of the planet. In its 349 days of orbit around Mars,
_Mariner 9_ circled the planet 698 times and took more than 7300

In its highly elliptical orbit, _Mariner 9_ obtained a sequence of
overlapping wide-angle photographs. These were processed by a computer
to remove the known variations in _Mariner 9_ camera response and
geometric distortions, as well as to enhance surface detail. The mosaic
made from the processed photographs is a pictorial presentation of the
Martian surface which shows ridges and craters in the dark regions and
on the bright polar caps with equal clarity. Surface features are in
correct relationship and perspective, with only a minimum of shading
difference between individual photographs.

In assembling the photomosaic, each picture was taped in place on the
globe. Then, the match of adjacent pictures was assessed to determine
where to trim the edges so that sharp features would not be intersected.
The edges of each print were feathered so that when the prints were
glued into place, the lines between pieces were almost
indistinguishable. The complete globe received a thin protective

This globe and copies of it enable scientists to study the geology and
morphology of Mars from a perspective never before possible.

The photomosaic globe was designed and assembled at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.

The Mars Globe is on loan from the National Aeronautics and Space

                               Mariner 10

    [Illustration: 17. _Mariner 10_ returned data and photographs from
    the vicinities of Venus and Mercury.]

    [Illustration: 18. This computer-enhanced image of Mercury’s surface
    was returned by _Mariner 10_ from 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles)
    and 6 hours away from closest approach to Mercury on March 29,

_Mariner 10_ returned closeup pictures of the cloud cover around Venus
and of Mercury’s sunbaked surface. _Mariner 10_ was the first spacecraft
to photograph Mercury, the innermost planet. The spacecraft’s
instruments also measured particles, fields, and radiation from these

_Mariner 10_ flew by Venus on February 5, 1974, after a three-month,
240-million-kilometer (150-million-mile) journey that took the
Spacecraft halfway around the Sun. _Mariner 10_ swung around the planet,
taking a variety of measurements and photographs of the clouds that
obscure the planet’s face. Using the planet’s gravity to “bend” its
flight path, _Mariner 10_ flew on toward encounter with Mercury.

On March 29, 1974. _Mariner_ sped across the night side of the little
planet closest to the Sun. Only 703 kilometers (436 miles) above the
rugged surface, _Mariner_’s cameras captured the first closeup views of
the planet’s daylight hemisphere. The pictures show craters,
scarps—cliffs nearly 3 kilometers (2 miles) high and stretching as far
as 500 kilometers (300 miles) across the surface—basins, and hilly
furrowed terrain.

After providing our first glimpse of Mercury’s surface, _Mariner_ raced
on around the Sun and back out across Venus’ orbit. With some trajectory
adjustments using on-board thrusters. _Mariner_ returned to within
48,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) of Mercury on September 21, 176 days
after the first encounter, again returning pictures and data.
_Mariner_’s orbit brought it back to the planet for a third pass in
another 176 days. On-board propellant exhausted, the spacecraft
continues its orbit of the Sun and innermost planet.

_Mariner 10_ is the first complex spacecraft designed to travel to the
inner reaches of the solar system. At closest approach to the Sun, the
spacecraft received five times as much light and heat as it did on
leaving Earth. Thus the solar panels, which collect and convert solar
radiation into electrical energy for the spacecraft’s instruments and
controls, were designed to tilt more and more away from the sunlight as
_Mariner_ approached the Sun.

_Mariner_ could transmit much more information to Earth than earlier
flyby spacecraft. This higher data rate enabled the craft to send back
more live pictures of the planets as it flew by them. Some information
was stored on magnetic tape for later transmission. This capability
permitted _Mariner_ to collect data when it was hidden from Earth behind
a planet, and send the information when it emerged.

Prime contractor for _Mariner 10_ was Hughes Aircraft Company.

_Mariner 10_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

                           U.S.S. Enterprise

    [Illustration: 19. The starship _Enterprise_ used in the filming of
    the “Star Trek” television series.]

This studio model of an interstellar space ship was used in the filming
of the science-fiction television series, “Star Trek.” Many of the
series’ 78 episodes dealt speculatively with the problems and results of
human contacts with extraterrestrial life forms and civilizations.

The model of U.S.S. _Enterprise_ was designed by Walter M. Jeffries and
Gene Roddenberry.

The model is from Paramount Television, a division of Paramount

  Length              3.4 m. (11 ft., 3 in.)
  Diameter of disc    1.5 m. (5 ft.)

                     Goddard A-Series Rocket, 1935

    [Illustration: 20. Dr. Goddard in his workshop at Roswell, New
    Mexico, October 1935.]

Robert Hutchings Goddard, the American rocket pioneer, was one of the
first to suggest the use of the rocket to gather scientific information
from high altitudes. As seamen use sounding lines to measure the depth
of unknown waters, so scientists use sounding rockets to investigate the
nature of our atmosphere. As early as 1917, the Smithsonian Institution
agreed to fund Dr. Goddard’s studies. In 1926, he built and flew the
world’s first successful liquid-propellant rocket which rose to an
altitude of 12.5 meters (41 feet) over a field in Massachusetts.

After the scientist received substantial grants from the Daniel and
Florence Guggenheim Foundation, he established a facility near Roswell,
New Mexico, where he built and tested a series of rockets and engines
between 1930 and 1942.

A-Series rockets—one on exhibit—were flown during the summer of 1935, as
part of Dr. Goddard’s program to develop methods of stabilizing his
rockets in vertical flight. The principles he pioneered in this area
were among his greatest contributions to the field of rocketry.

The greatest height reached by an A-Series rocket was about 2130 meters
(7000 feet) and the greatest speed in flight was more than 1130
kilometers per hour (700 miles per hour).

The rocket on exhibit is from Robert H. Goddard.

  Length              4.7 m. (15 ft., 6 in.)
  Diameter            15.2 cm. (6 in.)
  Fuel                Gasoline
  Oxidizer            Liquid oxygen
  Thrust              about 90 kg. (200 lb.)
  Velocity            1130 km. (700 mi.) per hr. (+ or -)
  Altitude            2.3 km. (7600 ft.) (+ or -)

                              WAC Corporal

    [Illustration: 21. Frank Malina, project leader in the development
    of the WAC Corporal, stands beside the high-altitude sounding

The WAC Corporal was the first successful American sounding rocket to
reach significant altitude. The first WAC Corporal, launched in 1944
from White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, reached a height of
71,600 meters (235,000 feet). The fin-stabilized rocket was powered by a
liquid-propellant engine that burned a self-igniting fuel and oxidizer
combination. Use of these propellants eliminated the need for an
ignition system. By March 1946, these rockets had attained altitudes of
over 72.4 kilometers (45 miles) with a booster. The WAC Corporal was
later used as a second stage on a German V-2 rocket. This U.S. program,
code-named “Bumper,” tested techniques for ignition and separation of
stages at high altitudes.

The WAC Corporal was designed in 1944 by the staff of the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

The rocket on exhibit is from the California Institute of Technology.

  Length              4.9 m. (16 ft., 2 in.) as exhibited
  Diameter            30.5 cm. (12 in.)
  Fuel                Aniline-furfuryl alcohol
  Oxidizer            Red-fuming nitric acid
  Thrust              680 kg. (1500 lb.)
  Velocity            4500 km. (2800 mi.) per hr. at burnout
  Altitude            72 km. (45 mi.) with a 11.3-kilogram (25-lb.)

                              Aerobee 150

    [Illustration: 22. A booster lifts Aerobee 150 out of its launch

The half-ton Aerobee could carry a 45.4-kilogram (100-pound) payload to
an altitude of 120.6 kilometers (75 miles). For many years, the Aerobee
was the standard American sounding rocket due to its reliability and
relatively low cost. Several versions of the original Aerobee were
produced. The Aerobee relied on a short-duration, solid-fuel booster for
launching, after which the main-stage, liquid-propellant engine ignited.

On display at the NASM is an Aerobee 150, a more sophisticated version
of the rocket. An Aerobee 150 can lift a 68.1-kilogram (150-pound)
payload to an altitude of 274 kilometers (170 miles). Payloads consisted
of a variety of scientific experiments.

The Aerobee concept originated early in 1946 when Dr. James Van Allen,
then of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University,
suggested that the Office of Naval Research contract for a rocket with
these particular capabilities. The Aerojet General Corporation (then
Aerojet, Inc.) was awarded the contract, with the Douglas Aircraft
Corporation subcontracting for aerodynamic studies on the nose, fins,
and tail cone, and for the final assembly of the rocket.

The Aerobee 150 is from the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center.


    [Illustration: 23. Artist’s rendering of four-stage Farside sounding
    rocket, in launcher below balloon.]

    [Illustration: 24. Rocket was fired directly through the apex of the
    balloon. Drawing shows the first stage falling away as second-stage
    rocket takes over.]

Farside was a four-stage rocket launched from a balloon as an extremely
high-altitude research vehicle. Achieving heights estimated at 6400
kilometers (4000 miles). Farside’s instrument payload was intended to
study cosmic rays, earth’s magnetic field, certain forms of
electromagnetic radiation in space, the presence of interplanetary
gases, and the nature of meteoric dust.

The 908-kilogram (2000-pound) Farside was lifted to an altitude of 30.5
kilometers (19 miles) by a polyethylene balloon. An aluminum structure
suspended from the balloon carried the 7.3-meter (24-foot) rocket to
launch altitude. Positioned vertically in its casing, Farside was fired
directly through the balloon.

Six Farsides were launched by the United States in 1957 from Eniwetok
Atoll in the Pacific.

Farside’s first stage consisted of four solid-fuel Recruit rockets,
manufactured by Thiokol Chemical Company. A single Recruit served as the
second stage. Four Arrow II solid-fuel rockets by the Grand Central
Rocket Company constituted the third stage. The final stage, a single
Arrow II, carried the instrument payload provided by S. F. Singer of the
University of Maryland.

Farside was developed by Aeronutronics Systems, Inc., for the U.S. Air
Force Office of Scientific Research and Development.

The rocket on exhibit is from the Aeronutronics Division, Ford Motor

  Length              7.3 m. (24 ft.)
  Propellants         Solid
  First stage         68,220 kg. (150,400 lb.)
  Second stage        17,055 kg. (37,600 lb.)
  Third state         4120 kg. (9080 lb.)
  Fourth stage        1030 kg. (2270 lb.)
  Velocity            29,000 km./hr. (18,000 mi./hr.)
  Altitude            3220-6440 km. (2000-4000 mi.)


    [Illustration: 25. Nike-Cajun ready for launch.]

    [Illustration: 26. Nike-Cajun launch.]

The Nike-Cajun was used extensively during International Geophysical
Year (1957-58) to perform a variety of research tasks. These included
weather photography, studies of water-vapor distribution in the upper
atmosphere, and magnetic soundings in the ionosphere.

For photographic studies, the instrument package separated from the nose
cone at about 80 kilometers (50 miles) and then coasted to a peak
altitude of about 120 kilometers (75 miles), during which time data was
collected. Then parachutes opened, lowering the cameras for recovery.
Other data was radioed to Earth.

The Cajun rocket was developed by the Pilotless Aircraft Division of the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the University of
Michigan. The solid-fuel engine was designed and manufactured by Thiokol
Chemical Company. The Nike booster was also solid fuel.

The rocket on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Length              7.9 m. (26 ft.); Cajun, 4.1 m. (13.5 ft.)
  Diameter            41.9 cm. (16.5 in.) max; Cajun, 17.1 cm. (6.75
  Propellant          Solid
  Thrust              Sustainer, 4364 kg. (9620 lb.)
  Velocity            6760 km./ hr. (4200 mi./hr.)
  Altitude            161 km. (100 mi.) with a 23 kg. (50 lb.)
                        instrument package; higher with a lighter


    [Illustration: 27. Loading ARCAS into launcher.]

All-purpose Rocket for Collecting Atmospheric Sounding (ARCAS) gathers
local meteorological data helpful to weather forecasters. Its
5.4-kilogram (12-pound) payload may include instruments which measure
temperature, pressure, humidity, wind velocity and direction, and
magnetic conditions. The single-stage ARCAS vehicle reaches an altitude
of 64 kilometers (40 miles), propelled by a slow-burning solid-fuel
engine which produces 141.4 kilograms (312 pounds) of thrust.

When the ARCAS is boosted by a Sparrow or Sidewinder missile engine, it
can reach altitudes of 182,880 meters (600,000 feet).

The 32-kilogram (71-pound) ARCAS is far less expensive than the larger
two-stage weather rockets it has replaced. It was developed and produced
by the Atlantic Research Corporation.

The ARCAS is from the Atlantic Research Corporation.

  Length              2.1 m. (7 ft.)
  Diameter            11.3 cm. (4.45 in.)
  Propellant          Solid
  Thrust              159 kg. (350 lb.)
  Velocity            3590 km./hr. (2230 mi./hr.)
  Altitude            64 km. (40 mi.) with standard 5.4-kg. (12-lb.)
                        payload; 91.7 km. (57 mi.) with a 2.3-kg.
                        (5-lb.) instrument package


    [Illustration: 28. Preparing Cricket for launch.]

The reusable Cricket, often called the “meteorologist’s handyman,”
weighs only 2.5 kilograms (5½ pounds), 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of which
is propellant. Recovered by parachute after each flight, Cricket costs
less than $10 to refuel.

The Cricket’s .34-kilogram (three-fourth pound) instrument package zooms
to 975 meters (3200 feet) in only 12 seconds, gathering data on air
temperature, pressure and wind direction.

One of the rocket’s most noteworthy features is that it uses “cold”
propellants. Compressed carbon dioxide to which acetone is added is
pumped into a storage tank in the rocket at a pressure of 56.3 kilograms
per square centimeter (800 pounds per square inch). Release of the
pressurized mixture gives Cricket its thrust. Cricket is fired from its
launcher by a separate charge of carbon dioxide in order to preserve the
rocket’s fuel for flight.

This rocket was developed by Texaco Experiment, Inc., for the U.S. Air
Force’s Cambridge Research Laboratory.

The Cricket is from Texaco, Inc.

  Length              1.2 m. (3 ft., 10 in.)
  Diameter            11 cm. (4 in.)
  Propellant          Pressurized carbon dioxide and acetone
  Thrust              23 kg. max. (50 lb.)
  Velocity            168 m./sec. max. (550 ft./sec.)
  Altitude            975 m. (3200 ft.)

                               Viking 12

    [Illustration: 29. Viking 12 lift-off.]

The Viking rocket family, numbering 14, grew out of the Navy’s efforts
to develop an upper atmosphere research program. With enough time
between launches to incorporate modifications suggested by experience
with earlier Vikings, no two rockets of the series were exactly alike;
however, there were two basic types of Vikings. The first seven rockets
were taller, thinner, and had larger fins than those numbered 8-14;
rockets in the second set were heavier, with fuel capacity greatly
increased, and were designed either to go higher than the early Vikings
or to carry heavier payloads to the same altitude.

Viking’s highest altitude was 254 kilometers (158 miles) following a
launch from White Sands on May 24, 1954. Experiments flown on these
rockets measured air temperature, density, pressure, and composition, as
well as providing cosmic and solar radiation data.

One of the few failures in this program was Viking 8, the first rocket
of the second set, which unexpectedly tore loose from the launch stand
while being test-fired.

Viking was conceived at the Naval Research Laboratory, designed and
produced by the Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore, Maryland, and
powered by a liquid-propellant engine by Reaction Motors, Inc.

The rocket on exhibit is from the Hayden Planetarium and Martin Marietta

  Length              13.7 m. (45 ft.)
  Diameter            1.1 m. (3 ft., 9 in.)
  Propellant          Alcohol
  Oxidizer            Liquid oxygen
  Thrust              9300 kg. (20,500 lb.)
  Velocity            6480 km. (4025 mi.) per hr.
  Altitude            193 km. (120 mi.) with a 402-kg. (887-lb.)


    [Illustration: 30. MOUSE model displays some of the earliest solar
    cells made (under square cover on front).]

The concept of artificial earth satellites was a logical extension of
existing sounding-rocket programs. The MOUSE, or Minimum Orbital
Unmanned Satellite of Earth, was conceived in 1951 as the smallest
possible orbital vehicle capable of performing scientific tasks. While
the MOUSE was never built or flown, it demonstrated what could be
accomplished by an orbiting vehicle of modest size and weight.

The MOUSE would have weighed 45.4 kilograms (100 pounds). It was
designed to study cosmic rays, interplanetary dust, and solar
ultraviolet and X rays, with the instruments attached to rods projecting
from either end. The satellite was to be powered by solar cells.

MOUSE was conceived by Kenneth W. Gatland, Anthony Kunesch, and Alan
Dixon of England. Dr. S. F. Singer of the University of Maryland
designed the MOUSE and constructed the model on exhibit. The model
displays some of the earliest solar cells produced by the Bell Telephone

The MOUSE is from S. F. Singer.


    [Illustration: 31. Thor-Agena launch vehicle and its satellite
    payload before launch.]

The Agena launch vehicle has been an integral part of both unmanned and
manned space programs. Flown as an upper stage on Thor and Atlas
boosters, Agena orbited an impressive roster of spacecraft including the
Echo communications satellites, the Ranger and Lunar Orbiter Moon
probes, and the Mariner vehicles that traveled to Venus and Mars.

As the target for docking experiments during Project Gemini, Agena made
substantial contributions to the eventual success of the Apollo program.
The vehicle earned the distinction of being the first to place a payload
in polar orbit, and was also the first to achieve circular orbit. The
Agena engine was the first which could be stopped and restarted in

The Agena launch vehicle was developed and manufactured by the Lockheed
Missiles and Space Company for the United States Air Force.

  Length              7.1 m. (23.25 ft.)
  Diameter            1.5 m. (5 ft.)
  Weight              Empty 674 kg. (1484 lb.)
  Fuel                Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine
  Oxidizer            Inhibited red-fuming nitric acid
  Thrust              7260 kg. (16,000 lb.)

The Agena-B is from the United States Air Force and the Lockheed Missile
and Space Company.

    [Illustration: 32. The Agena Target Docking Vehicle seen from the
    _Gemini 8_ spacecraft during rendezvous approach.]

                           Science Satellites

    [Illustration: 33. _Vanguard 1_, second American satellite launched.
    Information from _Vanguard_ showed that the Earth is not quite

The first artificial earth satellites were sometimes called
“long-playing rockets” because they carried the same instruments and
investigated the same problems as had the sounding rockets. The great
advantage of the satellite was its ability to provide a continuous flow
of information for long periods of time. The first science satellites
were the forerunners of later vehicles that would demonstrate the direct
benefits that satellites could offer to such varied fields as weather
observation and communication.

The advent of the earth satellite provided scientists with a new and
valuable research tool. Science satellites have been used for such tasks
as solar and astronomical observations, biology experiments, or
atmospheric investigation. Explorer 1 (launched January 31, 1958) and
Vanguard 1 (launched March 17, 1958), the first American earth
satellites, carried scientific payloads into space.

Project Vanguard’s important contributions to America’s space program
were the creation of the minitrack tracking system, the first use of
silicon solar cells for electric power in a satellite, as well as the
discovery that Earth is not quite round. The Vanguard program drew to a
close with the 1959 launch of Vanguard 3. This satellite studied
variations in solar and x-ray radiation and the earth’s magnetosphere.
It also determined air density in the upper atmosphere.

The mysteries of the near-earth space environment drew _Explorer 6_,
launched August 7, 1959. _Explorer 6_ instruments measured radiation
levels in the Van Allen radiation belts, mapped the earth’s magnetic
field, counted micrometeorites, and studied the behavior of radio waves
in space. In addition, _Explorer 6_ carried a scanning device which
returned the first complete television cloud-cover picture of the
earth’s surface.

    [Illustration: 34. Artist’s concept of IMP-E. This satellite’s
    primary mission is to study solar wind and the interplanetary
    magnetic field at lunar distance and their interaction with the

_Explorer 10_, launched on board a Thor-Delta rocket on March 25, 1961,
confirmed the existence of the solar wind—the stream of particles that
carries the Sun’s magnetic field beyond the orbit of Earth. During the
satellite’s planned 52 hours in orbit, it relayed information on the
relationship between terrestrial and interplanetary magnetic fields and
the solar wind.

To continue the study of solar wind and interplanetary magnetic fields,
_Explorer 12_ was orbited by a Delta launch vehicle on August 16, 1961.
It was the first in a series of satellites to study energetic particles
in space. These electrons and protons constitute the earth’s radiation
belts and they affect weather and other phenomena on Earth.

_Atmosphere Explorer-A_ was the first of NASA’s aeronomy satellites. It
was designed to remain in operation three months, studying the
composition, density, pressure, and temperature of the upper atmosphere.
This satellite discovered a belt of neutral helium atoms around the

Deriving its name from a spirit in Shakespeare’s play, _The Tempest_,
_Ariel 1_ explored the ionosphere, a region of electrically charged air
which begins about 40 kilometers (25 miles) above the surface of the
Earth. Launched April 26, 1962, _Ariel_ was a cooperative venture
between Great Britain and the United States. It was both the first
British satellite and NASA’s first international satellite. The Royal
Society’s British National Committee on Space Research coordinated the
experimental program; NASA scientists and technicians built the craft.

Two small scientific laboratories, called Interplanetary Monitoring
Platforms, were launched in 1967 to study the solar wind and other
phenomena. IMP-E investigated interplanetary magnetic fields in the
vicinity of the Moon. IMP-F investigated the interplanetary magnetic
field also, in addition to the earth’s magnetosphere and radiation
levels in space.

Interplanetary space between the Earth and Venus was the subject area
for _Pioneer 5_, launched March 11, 1960. The satellite tested
long-range communications systems, developed methods for measuring
astronomical distances, studied the effects of solar flares, and
performed other tasks before it went into orbit around the Sun.

With increasing interest in the earth’s space environment, a satellite
was launched on September 7, 1967, to investigate the impact of space on
biological processes. _Biosatellite 2_ was the second satellite in the
program of three such vehicles. Frog eggs, plants, micro-organisms and
insects were placed in orbit to enable scientists to study the combined
effects of weightlessness, artificially produced radiation, and the
absence of the normal day-night cycle on these organisms. Following two
days in space, the capsule containing the experimental package reentered
the atmosphere and was caught in mid-air by an Air Force recovery

_Vanguard 1_ is from John P. Hagan. _Vanguard 3_, _Explorer 10_,
_Explorer 12_, _AE-A_, _Ariel 1_, IMP-E & F, and _Biosatellite 2_ are
from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The models of
_Explorer 6_ and _Pioneer 5_ are from Space Technology Laboratories.

                       Meteorological Satellites

    [Illustration: 35. TOS satellite is covered with solar cells.]

Weather forecasts are important to everyone—in planning whether or not
to carry an umbrella, when to plant crops, when to evacuate riverbank
areas. Nineteenth-century American meteorologists relied on local
weather observations telegraphed to the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington and then plotted on a large map of the nation from which
forecasts were prepared.

When _Tiros-1_ returned the first global cloud-cover picture in 1960,
meteorologists were on their way to more accurate forecasts. Since the
satellite pictures offered more comprehensive weather data over a larger
geographic area, the identification of weather patterns became more

While our knowledge of atmospheric conditions is still imperfect, we
have learned to make reasonably accurate regional weather forecasts and
to identify and track violent storms and hurricanes based on satellite

The TIROS series (Television Infrared Observations Satellites) were
designed to test the feasibility of weather observation from orbit. The
TIROS satellite on exhibit was the prototype for the entire series of
vehicles. The prototype made eight trips to the launch stand at Cape
Kennedy, where it was used to check communications and handling
procedures prior to the launch of the scheduled TIROS. All 10 TIROS
satellites were successful. Launched between April 1, 1960, and July 1,
1965, they carried a variety of camera systems for experimental

Nine TIROS Operational Satellites (TOS) followed _TIROS 1-10_. Except
for the first TOS, these satellites flew in pairs with one craft storing
pictures on board for later transmission to major receiving centers,
while the other broadcast its photographs continuously to any ground
station within range. The satellite on display is of the latter type.
These vehicles were launched between 1966 and 1969. They were placed in
near-polar orbits by reliable Thor-Delta launch vehicles.

    [Illustration: 36. _TIROS I_ photo showing a section of the East
    coast of the United States, including the Boston and New England

After launch, TOS vehicles were referred to as ESSA satellites. ESSA was
an acronym both for Environmental Survey Satellite and for the
Environmental Science Service Administration, the federal agency that
operated the spacecraft. This organization became a part of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which currently has
responsibility for operational meteorological satellite programs.

From about 1392 kilometers (865 miles) above Earth, two wide-angle
television cameras mounted on either side of the spacecraft took in
10.4-million square kilometers (4-million square miles) per photo.

The Improved TIROS Operational Satellite (ITOS) opened the world of
radiometric measurement to meteorologists—information about surface
temperatures on the ground, at sea level, or at the cloud tops obtained
by scanning devices sensitive to energy that is invisible to the naked
eye. ITOS spacecraft could return accurate day or night surface and
cloud-cover images. Seven of these satellites were launched between 1970
and 1973.

_TIROS_ was presented to the National Air and Space Museum by the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration; _TOS_ is from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; _ITOS_ is from the
Astro-Electronics Division of RCA, Inc.

    [Illustration: 37. Artist’s concept of ITOS weather satellite
    illustrating how the weather eye takes night-time (infrared)
    cloud-cover pictures.]

                       Communications Satellites

    [Illustration: 38. Ground inflation test on _Echo 1_, the world’s
    first passive communications satellite.]

Communications satellites can be grouped into two broad categories.
Passive vehicles reflect signals from one ground station to another.
Active satellites accept ground signals and either amplify and
rebroadcast them immediately or record messages for later transmission.

The Echo satellite balloons typified the passive category of
communications spacecraft. These satellites “bounced” radio signals from
one ground station to another. Uninflated Echo payloads were carried
into orbit packed in special storage containers. When released in space,
the balloon was inflated by chemicals packed inside which subliminated
to produce inflating gas. The mylar plastic skin of the satellite was
sandwiched between two layers of aluminum foil. _Echo 2_—on
display—included a system for releasing gas over a long period of time
to maintain the satellite’s spherical shape. Launched January 25, 1964,
_Echo 2_ was the first satellite used for communication experiments
between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Project West Ford, launched May 9, 1963, was a unique experiment in
passive satellite communications. It was not a solid vehicle, but a
series of 400-million tiny individual copper filaments called dipoles.
The dipoles formed a reflective layer some 64,300 kilometers (40,000
miles) long, 32 kilometers (20 miles) thick, and 32 kilometers (20
miles) wide. The distance between the individual dipoles averaged 536
meters (one-third mile). The West Ford experiment proved disappointing,
and advances in the design of active communications satellites made
further experiments of this nature unnecessary.

_Oscar 1_ (Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) was conceived,
designed, and constructed by American amateur radio “hams.” Launched as
a “piggyback” satellite on December 12, 1963, Oscar transmitted a series
of Morse code dots spelling “hi.” The message was picked up by 5000
operators in 28 nations during the 18 days of transmission. Oscar
investigated radio propagation phenomena in space on that portion of the
radio frequency spectrum allocated to amateur radio (144-146 megaherz).

Testing the use of a “delayed-repeater” satellite in global military
communications, _Courier 1-B_ was placed in a high-altitude orbit on
October 4, 1960. The craft accepted and stored messages as it passed
over one ground station, then replayed them on command.

_Relay_, another active repeater satellite, was placed in orbit on
December 13, 1962. _Relay_ carried communications experiments to test a
variety of relay equipment—including that for photofacsimile,
teleprinter, and data transmission. During its 25-month lifespan, _Relay
1_ introduced the nations of the world to satellite communication. A
second, improved _Relay_ was launched in 1964.

    [Illustration: 39. The exterior of eight-sided _Relay_ is composed
    of honeycomb aluminum panels studded with 8215 solar cells.]

The world’s first commercial communications satellite was called “Early
Bird,” or INTELSAT 1. Built a decade ago by Hughes Aircraft Company for
Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT), Early Bird could transmit
simultaneously on 240 two-way channels for telephone, telegraph, or data
transmission. Transatlantic telephone circuit capability increased by 50
percent once Early Bird went into orbit on April 6, 1965. Although the
craft had a life expectancy of 18 months, it operated satisfactorily in
full-time service for more than three and one-half years.

INTELSAT 2 introduced multipoint communications between earth stations
in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. With almost twice the power of
Early Bird, INTELSAT 2 proved particularly important as communications
support for the Apollo missions to the Moon.

INTELSAT 2 established a global network of three satellites that was
effective in linking two-thirds of the world’s people in one
communications chain. The first of the series was launched on January
11, 1967. These spacecraft were designed and manufactured by the Hughes
Aircraft Company for Intelsat, Inc., and had a design lifetime of three

INTELSAT 3 was a series of five communications satellites which provided
global coverage for the first time. This INTELSAT had a capacity of 2400
voice, data, facsimile, and telegraph circuits, plus four television
channels and had a design lifetime of five years.

The satellite featured a de-spun antenna which remained pointed at a
particular area of the globe, while the body of the satellite spun
around it. It was the first commercial satellite capable of transmitting
voice and television broadcasts simultaneously.

INTELSAT 3 satellites were manufactured by TRW Systems, Inc., for
Intelsat, Inc.

_Echo 2_, _Courier 1-B_, and _Relay_ are from the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration; _OSCAR 1_ is from Project Oscar, Inc.;
INTELSAT 1, INTELSAT 2, and INTELSAT 3 are from the International
Telecommunications Satellite Organization.

                              Lunar Module

    [Illustration: 40. Apollo 15 Lunar Module, center, on the Moon.
    Astronaut Irwin on left and Lunar Roving Vehicle on right.]

The lunar module is one of twelve built for the Apollo moon-landing
program. Although this one never flew because an earlier test flight was
completely successful, two-stage lunar modules like this one have been
used for each manned moon landing.

Lunar modules do not have to be streamlined for flights through the
vacuum of space or to withstand reentry. The lunar module (LM) lifts off
from Earth enclosed in a compartment of the Saturn 5 launch vehicle,
below the command-service module that houses the astronauts. The command
module pulls the LM from its storage area once the spacecraft are on
their way to the Moon, and the two travel together until they arrive in
lunar orbit.

When the crew is ready to land, two of the three astronauts enter the LM
and undock it, leaving the third to pilot the command module. After
touchdown on the Moon, the astronauts exit through the door above the

The silver and black ascent stage, containing the astronauts’
pressurized compartment and the clusters of rockets that control the
spacecraft, fits on top of the shiny gold descent stage that actually
touches down on the Moon. The descent stage contains a main, centrally
located rocket engine. This segment of the craft remains on the Moon as
the crew lifts off in the ascent stage to rejoin the command module.

After the crew transfers to the command module, the ascent stage is also
left behind as the three crew members start their return journey.

The LM is displayed just as it would look during a moon-landing mission.
The gold and black materials insulate the spacecraft’s inner structure
from temperature extremes and protect it from micrometeoroids. Thin
sheets of both materials are used in “blankets” to accomplish the
necessary protection in a foreign environment.

The black material is heat-resistant nickel-steel alloy. Each sheet is
only .002 millimeters (1/12,000 of an inch) thick. These absorb heat and
radiate it back into the blackness of space.

The shiny gold material on the descent stage is aluminum that is thinly
coated over plastic film. The thin sheets of plastic and aluminum are
used in blankets of up to 25 layers for protection and insulation of the

Prime contractor for the lunar module was Grumman Aerospace Corporation.

The lunar module on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Height              7 m. (22 ft., 11 in.), legs extended
  Diameter            9.4 m. (31 ft.) diagonally across landing gear
  Earth launch        14,700 kg. (32,400 lb.)
  LM (dry)            3900 kg. (8600 lb.)
  Pressurized         6.7 cu. m. (235 cu. ft.)
  Habitable           4.5 cu. m. (160 cu. ft.)

    [Illustration: 41. Lunar Module Center Instrument Panel in the
    ascent stage.]

                             Lunar Orbiter

    [Illustration: 42. Lunar Orbiter.]

  Directional Antenna
  Velocity Control Rocket Engine
  Fuel Tank
  Nitrogen Gas Reaction Jets
  Oxidizer Tank
  Micrometeoroid Detectors
  Flight Programmer
  Photographic Subsystem
  Sun Sensor (located under equipment deck)
  Solar Panel
  Canopus Star Tracker
  Inertial Reference Unit
  Omni Directional Antenna

The Lunar Orbiter project was initiated in 1963 as part of the U.S.
Apollo program to land men on the Moon during the decade of the nineteen

Lunar Orbiter’s primary mission was to take and transmit both wide-angle
and closeup images of the Moon. Lunar Orbiters photographed many areas
of scientific interest and provided general photographic coverage of
much of the moon’s surface. These pictures were then used to select the
best landing sites for the first manned lunar landings. Orbiters also
showed that the moon’s gravitational field permitted stable orbits.

_Lunar Orbiter 1_ was launched atop an Atlas-Agena D rocket on August
10, 1966. The last in the project, _Lunar Orbiter 5_, was launched on
August 1, 1967. All five missions were successful.

The first three missions were similar. After each launch, the Agena
stage’s booster engine was fired to send the spacecraft on a 90-hour
coasting trajectory to the Moon, about 386,160 kilometers (240,000
miles) distant.

As the spacecraft neared the Moon, its on-board engine was fired as a
retrorocket to slow the _Orbiter_ and permit it to go into orbit around
the Moon.

The closest approach to the Moon in each orbit was about 45 kilometers
(28 miles), and the spacecraft swung out to about 1850 kilometers (1150
miles) from the Moon.

Photography was conducted while the _Orbiter_ was near the lunar
surface. Lunar photography for the Apollo Program landing-site selection
was completed by the first three Lunar Orbiters. Each was then
intentionally crashed into the Moon to prevent it from interfering with
later missions.

The last two Lunar Orbiters were used for scientific photography of the
Moon. Both were placed into polar orbits so that they could photograph
all of the sunlit areas of the Moon.

Each Lunar Orbiter carried a camera with both a telephoto and a
wide-angle lens. The telephoto lens was capable of resolving objects on
the lunar surface as small as 91.4 centimeters (three feet) in diameter.
The wide-angle lens could resolve objects as small as 7.6 meters (25
feet) in diameter. The photographic images were converted to electrical
signals for transmission to Earth.

The Lunar Orbiter project was a complete success. All spacecraft
operated properly, photographing a total of more than 36-million square
kilometers (14-million square miles) of the moon’s surface.

Prime contractor for the Lunar Orbiter program was the Boeing Company.
Principal subcontractors were Eastman Kodak Company and RCA.

The Lunar Orbiter in the National Air and Space Museum’s collection was
used for thermal testing of spacecraft systems.

_Lunar Orbiter_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Maximum span
  Antenna booms       5.6 m. (18 ft., 6 in.)
  Solar panels        3.7 m. (12 ft., 2 in.)
  Height              1.68 m. (5 ft., 6 in.) without panels
  Weight              385.6 kg. (850 lb.)
  Power               Electrical; four solar panels with a total area
                        of just over 4.8 sq. m. (58 sq. ft.) providing
                        375 w. to nickel-cadmium batteries
  Velocity control    A 45.4 kg (100 lb.) thrust engine burning a
    system              hydrazine mixture and nitrogen-tetroxide


    [Illustration: 43. Surveyor.]

  High-gain Antenna
  Omnidirectional Antenna A
  Thermally Controlled Compartment A
  Radar Altitude - Doppler Velocity Sensor
  Vernier Propellant Tanks
  Footpad 2
  Crushable Block
  Attitude Control Gas Tank (Nitrogen)
  Solar Panel
  TV Camera
  Thermally Controlled Compartment B
  Alpha Scattering Instrument Electronics
  Canopus Star Sensor
  Omnidirectional Antenna B
  Footpad 3
  Vernier Engine 3
  Vernier Propellant Pressurizing Gas Tank (Helium)
  Alpha Scattering Instrument

    [Illustration: 44. _Apollo 12_ crewman examines _Surveyor 3_, which
    soft-landed on the Moon on April 19, 1967. The _Apollo 12_ (1969)
    Lunar Module is in the background.]

The Surveyor Project, begun in 1960, consisted of seven unmanned
spacecraft which were launched between May 30, 1966, and January 6,
1968. The craft were used to develop lunar soft-landing techniques, to
survey potential Apollo landing sites, and to improve scientific
understanding of the Moon.

Five of the seven Surveyor spacecraft successfully landed on the Moon
and performed their tasks well. They responded to 600,545 commands from
Earth and returned 87,632 television images of their lunar surroundings.
(_Surveyors 2_ and _4_ crashed into the Moon and were destroyed.)

Besides returning TV images, _Surveyors 3_, _5_, _6_, and _7_ carried a
soil-sampling claw which could dig a trench, and test soil hardness and
other characteristics. The soil-sampler tests showed that the lunar
surface would bear the weight of an Apollo Lunar Module.

_Surveyors 5_, _6_, and _7_ carried instruments capable of making simple
chemical analyses of the lunar soil near the spacecraft. This
information told scientists that most lunar soil near the Surveyors was
basalt, a common rock on Earth as well.

The Surveyor spacecraft on exhibit, designated _S-10_, was used in
ground-based tests of on-board equipment, and was not used on a mission.
_S-10_ is exhibited as it would have appeared just before landing on the

Prime contractor for the Surveyor spacecraft was the Hughes Aircraft
Company. The project was managed by the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of
Technology, Pasadena, California.

The spacecraft on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Height              3 m. (10 ft.)
  Distance across     3.5 m. (11 ft., 6 in.)
  Weight              1000 kg. (2204 lb.) at launch; 292 kg. (644 lb.)
                        as exhibited
  Electrical power    One .83 sq. m. (9 sq. ft.) solar panel providing
                        89 w. to a silver-zinc battery
  Landing vernier     Three throttleable liquid-propellant rockets
    rocket system       each providing from 14.6 to 47.2 kg. thrust
                        (30 to 104 lb. thrust).
                        Fuel—Monomethylhydrazine monohydrate; oxidizer
                        90% nitrogen tetroxide and 10% nitric oxide.

            Goddard Rockets: May 1926 and “Hoopskirt,” 1928

The American pioneer of astronautics, Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) not
only outlined the physical principles that would govern space flight,
but he also constructed and tested many rocket engines, airframes,
control devices, and guidance mechanisms between 1926 and 1942.

Goddard held a doctorate in physics, and was a professor at Clark
University, Worcester, Massachusetts. The Smithsonian Institution began
funding Goddard’s experiments as early as 1917 and published his first
major work, _A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes_, in 1919.

Goddard was not only a trained scientist, but a talented and ingenious
engineer as well. On March 16, 1926, he launched the world’s first
liquid-propellant rocket. By 1930, he had established a rocket test
facility at Mescalero Ranch, near Roswell, New Mexico. Here, he
conducted research, funded by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim
Foundation, on rocket power plants, pumps and fuel systems, control
mechanisms, and other vital elements of the modern rocket.

The Rocket of May 4, 1926

This vehicle is the oldest surviving liquid-propellant rocket in the
world. Built of parts employed in the first liquid-propellant rocket
launched on March 16, 1926, the engine was moved from the nose of the
vehicle to the rear for the May 4 trial. Other changes were introduced
to reduce the weight of the rocket to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds). The
motor burned gasoline and liquid oxygen.

The alcohol burner under the liquid oxygen tank was inadvertently not
ignited, causing the May 4 attempted launch to fail. A second test on
May 5 also proved unsuccessful. However, the rocket engine was fired on
both occasions.

The May 4 rocket is from Mrs. Robert H. Goddard and the Daniel and
Florence Guggenheim Foundation.

                             May 1926 rocket

  Length              1.95 m. (6 ft., 4 in.)
  Weight              2.5 kg. (5.5 lb.)
  Fuel                Gasoline
  Oxidizer            Liquid oxygen

The “Hoopskirt” Rocket

    [Illustration: 45. Dr. Goddard and the “Hoopskirt.” Propellant tanks
    are on legs of frame.]

    [Illustration: 46. The upper section of the “Hoopskirt” rocket.]

Developed by Dr. Goddard during the late summer and early fall of 1928,
the “Hoopskirt” rocket featured a small rocket engine mounted in the
nose and a system of tanks and alcohol burners—to maintain fuel
pressure—mounted on two legs. On December 26, 1928, the rocket flew
62.33 meters (204.5 feet) in 3.2 seconds—its most successful flight.
Like all Goddard rockets, the “Hoopskirt” burned gasoline and liquid

The “Hoopskirt” rocket is from Mrs. Robert H. Goddard.


  Height              4.5 m. (14 ft., 8 in.)
  Weight              12.93 kg. (28.5 lb.)
  Fuel                Gasoline
  Oxidizer            Liquid oxygen

                19th-Century Rockets: Congreve and Hale

    [Illustration: 47. _The Bombardment of Algiers_, 1816. Congreve
    rockets in use.]

The rebirth of European interest in military rocketry can be traced to
the English conquest of India during the late 18th century. William
Congreve, an artillery expert, was intrigued by the tactical success of
the Indian war rockets. He began a research program in 1804 that led to
the development of a metal-cased, stick-guided artillery rocket that
could be fired in barrages against enemy troops. The rocket carried
incendiary or explosive warheads.

The 14.5-kilogram (32-pound) Congreve war rocket models on display show
the early side-mounting of the stabilizing guide stick and the later
(1815) design in which the guide stick was center-mounted to give
greater accuracy. Congreve rockets played an important role during the
Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.

The experimental 45.4-kilogram (100-pound) Congreve incendiary rocket
was developed as a siege weapon for use against fortresses or entrenched
enemy positions, although it is not known to have been used in combat.
The 6.7-meter (22-foot) guide stick screwed together and fitted to the
side of the projectile before firing. Like the smaller Congreve rockets,
it could be launched from a frame or earthen embankment.

William Hale was an English engineer and ordnance expert who made
cumbersome guide sticks obsolete with the introduction of spin
stabilization to rocketry. Hale’s first design of a stickless, or
rotary, rocket was patented in 1844. Although the 5.4-kilogram
(12-pound) rocket was used during the Mexican War (1846-1847) and the
Civil War, Hale subsequently refined it because the rocket had a
tendency to oscillate in the air following exhaustion of the propellant.

Hale’s intermediate pattern rocket of 1862—on display—was never
produced, giving way in 1865 to a rocket weighing 11 kilograms (24
pounds) with a maximum range of 2012 meters (2200 yards) when fired from
a 4.6-meter (15-foot) elevation. The propellant burned for 5 to 10
seconds, producing an estimated maximum thrust of 136 kilograms (300

The American version of the Hale rocket has two sets of gas nozzles. The
major aperture on the base of the case allowed the propellant gases to
escape. The smaller holes above the rocket’s midpoint are angled; the
exhaust gases spin the projectile, stabilizing it during flight. Hale
rocket designs were employed by both sides during the Civil War.

    [Illustration: 48. Hale rocket with canted nozzles for

The Congreve 14.5-kilogram (32-pound) war rocket model was copied from
the original at the Royal Artillery Institution; the experimental
Congreve incendiary rocket on display is a gift of that Institution.
Hale’s 1844 design rocket, his 1862 experimental rocket, and the 1865
rocket are on loan from the Science Museum, London. The American Hale
rocket is on loan from F. C. Durant III.

               American Rocket Society: Engines and Parts

    [Illustration: 49. Static test of liquid-fuel rocket engine on
    American Rocket Society Test Stand No. 2.]

    [Illustration: 50. Two early types of liquid-fuel, rocket motors.
    Left, the original ARS motor; right, a four-nozzle motor for ARS No.
    4 rocket.]

  Thrust stud for fastening to rocket
  Blast chamber
  Fuel feed
  Oxygen feed
  Water jacket
  Thrust and fuel column attached to rocket
  Fuel feed
  Oxygen feed

The American Rocket Society (ARS) was the first organization in the
United States dedicated to rocket research. The society was founded in
New York City in March 1930 by G. E. Pendray and David Laser. The first
successful ARS rocket was launched on May 13, 1933. The group continued
to build and test rocket engines until the outbreak of World War II.
After 1945, the ARS became a professional society for engineers involved
in astronautics. The ARS joined with other aeronautical engineering
groups to form the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in

The first liquid-propellant rocket engines built by the American Rocket
Society were machined from blanks of heat-resistant, cast-aluminum
alloy. Engine No. 1 powered the first two rockets designed and
constructed by the ARS. It featured combustion chamber walls 12.7
millimeters (½ inch) thick and burned liquid oxygen and gasoline to
produce a thrust of 27.22 kilograms (60 pounds). Liquid oxygen was
pressurized by partial evaporation, while bottled nitrogen forced
gasoline from the tank to the engine.

ARS Engine No. 4, like its predecessors, was mounted in the nose, rather
than the tail, of the rocket. The engine featured a single combustion
chamber and four nozzles. The nozzles directed the jet gases to the rear
and slightly away from the top of the gasoline tank on which the engine
was mounted. The rocket powered by this engine was tested on September
9, 1934. It rose several hundred feet, at which point one of the nozzles
burned out, bringing the flight to a close. In 1938, ARS member James
Wyld suggested a cooling system whereby propellants circulate through a
jacket surrounding the combustion chamber. Engines using this system are
termed “regeneratively cooled.” The first Wyld rocket motor tested
developed 41 kilograms (90 pounds) of thrust for 13½ seconds. It proved
so successful that Wyld and other members of the ARS founded Reaction
Motors, Inc., to produce and sell rocket engines based on this design.

The performance of motors developed by the ARS prior to World War II was
measured on a test stand with built-in fuel and oxidizer tanks and
bottled nitrogen gas. The engine was mounted on a carriage, and
connected to the stand’s propellant tanks by flexible metal hoses.
Thrust was indicated on a pressure gauge. The stand was first used in

All American Rocket Society artifacts are from G. E. Pendray and the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

                               H-1 Engine

    [Illustration: 51. A two-stage Saturn 1B rocket powered by H-1
    engine cluster lifts off carrying Skylab 4 astronauts, November 16,

The H-1 liquid-propellant rocket engine was an outgrowth of the LR-79
which served as the basic power plant for the USAF Thor missile. The H-1
was used in the 8-engine cluster of the first stage of the Saturn 1 and
1B launch vehicles.

The H-1 burns liquid oxygen and a grade of aviation kerosene to produce
a total thrust of 92,986 kilograms (205,000 pounds). Each engine
functions as an independent unit, with its own combustion chamber and
turbopump, but fuel is drawn from common tanks.

The Saturn 1B was first launched on February 26, 1966, and most recently
on July 15, 1975, in the launch of the U.S. crew of the Apollo-Soyuz
Test Project.

It was developed by Rocketdyne, a division of North American Rockwell

The engine on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

                              RL-10 Engine

    [Illustration: 52. RL-10 engines used to power Centaur launch

The RL-10 is an upper stage propulsion system that can be stopped and
restarted in space. It is a regeneratively cooled engine which burns
liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to produce 6800 kilograms (15,000
pounds) of thrust. RL-10s pioneered the use of liquid hydrogen as a
rocket fuel. They powered the Centaur launch vehicles that boosted such
craft as Surveyor and Viking into space. A six-engine cluster of RL-10s
was also used to propel the S4 stage of the Saturn 1.

The RL-10 was developed by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft division of the
United Aircraft Corporation.

The RL-10 engine is from the National Aeronautics and Space

                               JATO Units

    [Illustration: 53. JATO-boosted Martin Mariner aircraft.]

JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) rockets boost heavy aircraft from short
runways or from high-altitude airports where long take-off runs are
required. The development of more powerful airplane engines has reduced
the use of JATOs in recent years.

The first American JATO units were tested at March Field, California, on
August 12, 1941. Six solid-propellant engines, each developing 12.8
kilograms (28 pounds) of thrust, boosted a light plane piloted by Capt.
Homer Boushey into the air on this occasion. These motors were designed
and built by staff members of the Air Corps Jet Propulsion Research
Project of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California
Institute of Technology.

During World War II, work continued on JATO prototypes: the M17G was
developed by Reaction Motors, Inc., to provide 590 kilograms (1300
pounds) of thrust to assist the take-off of PBM flying boats; the M19G,
also built by Reaction Motors, Inc., was fueled by gasoline with liquid
oxygen as an oxidizer.

The liquid-propellant 25ALD1000, developed during World War II. produced
453 kilograms (1000 pounds) of thrust and burned red-fuming nitric acid
as an oxidizer and aniline as a fuel. It was successfully used on a
variety of aircraft, including the B-24, B-25, C-40, and P-38.

After the war ended, JATO engines were used on military aircraft such as
the B-47 and F-84 in the United States, while in Britain the JATO Super
Sprite became the first rocket engine to receive official type approval
for quantity production.

The first U.S. JATO unit and the 25ALD1000 are gifts of the Aerojet
General Division of the General Tire and Rubber Company. The M17G and
M19G JATOs are from the Thiokol Chemical Corporation, and Rolls Royce,
Ltd., provided the Super Sprite.

                              LR-87 Engine

    [Illustration: 54. LR-87 engine in Titan on launch stand.]

The LR-87 was a twin-chamber liquid-propellant rocket engine developed
to power the Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile. The engine
developed a total thrust of 136,078 kilograms (300,000 pounds) at sea
level. It burned liquid oxygen and a grade of aviation kerosene. The
combustion chambers were gimbal mounted to allow them to swivel,
controlling the missile trajectory during the powered phase of flight.
The engine was developed by Aerojet General Corporation.

    [Illustration: 55. LR-87 engine just after suspension in the

The LR-87 on exhibit is from the U.S. Air Force.

              Toward 2076: The Future of Rocket Propulsion

    [Illustration: 56. A 21st-century space colony in orbit between
    Earth and the Moon, as suggested by Dr. Gerard O’Neill of Princeton
    University. This colony could accommodate 200,000 persons, using
    solar energy for power and lunar or asteroid materials for
    construction. The teacup-shaped containers ringing the cylinder are
    agricultural stations, and the mirrors would direct sunlight into
    the interior, regulate the seasons, and control the day-night

During the first twenty years of the space age, all launch vehicles were
propelled by solid or liquid chemical rockets; however, nuclear and
electric rocket motors are needed to provide the higher thrusts and
velocities required for possible future manned journeys to other
planets. Robert H. Goddard, the American rocket pioneer, was the first
to suggest the possibility of electric rocket motors, but it was not
until 1964 that electric rockets were actually tested in space.

Two types of ion engines represent the most fully developed electric
propulsion systems. In contact ion engines, a propellant gas (mercury or
cesium, for example) is ionized, or given an electrical charge, by
passage through a hot porous metal. The resulting ions are accelerated
out of the engine by an electrical field. The charged ions are
neutralized as they approach the nozzle to form an exhaust beam that
imparts the thrust. Bombardment ion engines rely on the bombardment of
the propellant gas by electrons from a cathode, or negative electrode,
to create ions. The ions are accelerated from the engine in the same
manner as in the contact ion engine.

A Cesium Ion Rocket Engine

This small contact ion engine produces .0009 kilogram (.002 pound) of
thrust by passing vaporized cesium through hot tungsten. On Earth this
amount of power is scarcely enough to lift a one-carat jewel an inch off
a table, but in the frictionless vacuum of space, it is sufficient to
provide attitude control for satellites. It can also accelerate a
spacecraft to high interplanetary velocities by operating continuously
for thousands of hours.

An ion engine of this type was first tested in space in 1964. On that
occasion, it provided .0009 kilogram (.002 pound) of thrust for 2 hours,
10 minutes. It was able to control the attitude of the attached
instrument package.

This ion engine is a gift from Electro-Optical Systems, Inc., the
company that developed it.

                             Project Orion

    [Illustration: 57. The Project Orion test vehicle was used to
    explore the feasibility of a unique type of propulsion which
    utilized successive nuclear explosions behind the rear pusher

Project Orion was an attempt to solve the problems of propulsion for
long-term manned journeys to other planets by creating an engine that
would use successive nuclear explosions to propel very large space
vehicles. The Orion spacecraft was designed to carry many small nuclear
explosive systems which would be ejected sequentially from the rear of
the vehicle. These units would explode some distance behind the
spacecraft. The expanding debris, in the form of high-velocity,
high-density plasma, would strike a pusher plate at the rear of the
Orion vehicle.

Work on Project Orion was halted in 1963 when the Limited Nuclear Test
Ban Treaty, which prohibited atmospheric tests of the propulsion system,
was signed.

The Project Orion Test Vehicle—on display—demonstrated the basic
principle of intermittent thrust from explosive charges. Test data
provided by this model would have assisted engineers in developing the
full-scale spacecraft.

The test vehicle carried five high-explosive plastic charges which were
ejected from the rear of the craft. Compressed nitrogen powered the
ejection system. Each charge was attached to the vehicle by a .9-meter
(3-foot) cord. A microswitch exploded the individual packages. The
Project Orion Test Vehicle was first flown successfully in October 1959.

From the Gulf Energy and Environmental Systems, Inc.

The Plug-Nozzle Rocket Engine

Although this engine is a liquid-propellant rocket, it substitutes a
series of small combustion chambers and nozzles for the traditional
single large chamber and nozzle to achieve additional thrust. This
innovative combustion system features chambers and nozzles mounted on an
annular ring at the base of the engine. Thrust is derived from the
expansion of the exhaust gases against a large segmented plug in the
center of the engine. Flight control is achieved by varying the amount
of propellant introduced into the individual chamber sections. The
engine on exhibit burned liquid oxygen and kerosene to provide a thrust
of 22,680 kilograms (50,000 pounds).

The plug-nose rocket engine was developed at the General Electric
Company’s Malta Test Station in 1961.

The engine on exhibit is from the New York State Atomic and Space

                              Space Suits

    [Illustration: 58. Astronaut John Glenn is assisted with his

Modern space suits are direct descendants of the simple “pressure suits”
designed as early as 1907 for deep-sea divers. In 1911 an English
respiratory physiologist, J. S. Haldane, proposed the use of an oxygen
pressurized suit for ascent to high altitudes. The first U.S. patent was
granted for a pressure suit in 1918.

Through the early 1960s, all such suits were pressure containers.
Project Mercury astronauts wore suits adapted from the U.S. Navy MK-IV
pressure suit. It consisted of an inner layer of neoprene-coated fabric
and a restraint layer of aluminized nylon fabric. The garment design
provided a fair degree of mobility, although the suit could not bend
with the full hinge motion of the human elbow or knee because it folded
in at the joints, reducing overall volume and increasing internal
pressure. The Mercury suit would have been pressurized only if
spacecraft cabin pressure had been lost.

Space suits require a great deal of sophistication. They must meet many
vital criteria, including low leakage, thermal control, comfort,
stowage, and protection from micrometeoroid strikes.

_Gemini 4_ was the first American mission to explore the problems of man
functioning outside his spacecraft, with only his space suit for
protection. This extravehicular activity required the space suit to be a
prime system rather than a precautionary measure.

    [Illustration: 59. Apollo space suit.]

Designed and created primarily for moon-walking, the 28.6-kilogram
(63-pound) Apollo space suits, with backpack environmental and
communication systems, enabled the lunar astronauts to dispense with the
tether used on the Gemini “spacewalks.” The suit’s 21 layers are
materials such as teflon fabric, nonwoven dacron, and aluminized mylar.
These alternating layers of specialized materials protected the
astronauts from the extreme temperatures of space and possibility of
micrometeroids striking. Boots and gloves contain a stainless steel
cloth to protect against abrasion. Suits had to fit the wearers so
precisely that 67 anthropometric measurements were required of each

    [Illustration: 60. Astronaut White takes the first “spacewalk” with
    only his suit for protection from the space environment.]

When the astronauts ventured outside the spacecraft and explored the
lunar surface, the following equipment was worn under the suit: a fecal
containment system for emergency containment of solid-waste material; a
liquid-cooling garment; a bio-belt assembly, urine collection and
transfer system. Together with a portable life-support system, this
constituted the complete Environmental Mobility Unit (EMU).

The liquid-cooling garment consists of an outer layer of nylon spandex
material, a network of polyvinyl-chloride tubing, and a nylon-chiffon
comfort liner. Even spacing of the plastic tubing permitted the
efficient transfer of body heat to the cooling liquid (water) as it
circulated through the suit.

The bio-belt assembly, worn over the liquid-cooling garment, contains
preamplifiers for sensors placed next to the skin. The sensors acquired
electrical signals which determined respiration rate and
electrocardiograms of the astronauts. The preamplifiers relayed the
signals to the spacecraft telemetry system for transmission to Earth.

The urine collection and transfer assembly provided for emergency
containment of liquid waste when spacecraft facilities were not
available. Liquid waste was subsequently transferred from the collection
assembly to the spacecraft waste-management system.

The portable life-support system (PLSS) created and maintained a livable
atmosphere inside an astronaut’s space suit during activity on the lunar
surface. Worn as a backpack, the PLSS could be used for as long as four
hours at a time.

The PLSS supplied oxygen for breathing purposes, suit pressurization,
and ventilation. It also removed contaminants from oxygen circulating
through the suit and supplied water and oxygen for body cooling.
Conversion of exhaled carbon dioxide into oxygen was accomplished
through a lithium-hydroxide cartridge also contained in the PLSS. An
emergency supply of oxygen was contained in the oxygen purge system
mounted on top of the PLSS.

When fully charged, the pack weighs 38 kilograms (84 pounds) on Earth or
6.3 kilograms (14 pounds) on the Moon.

The space suit on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

                               V-2 (A-4)

    [Illustration: 61. British-supervised postwar launch of V-2 in

    [Illustration: 62. V-2.]

The German V-2, originally designated A-4, represents the beginning of
modern rocketry. The V-2 was the first proof that large rockets of the
sort described by the space-flight pioneers of the early twentieth
century could be successfully built and flown. It was also the
forerunner of the intercontinental ballistic missile system.

Developed by a team of engineers working under the direction of Dr.
Wernher von Braun at Peenemunde, Germany, the V-2 work laid the
foundation for the Redstone missile through the Saturn series of space
launch vehicles.

Four-thousand V-2s were fired against Allied targets in England and on
the continent in 1944 and 1945. After World War II, captured V-2 rockets
were used to train American technicians in missile launch procedures and
to carry the first payloads of scientific instruments into the upper
atmosphere in the United States.

The operational V-2 rocket structure consisted of three sections. The
nose housed the warhead and control mechanisms. The fuel tanks carried
liquid oxygen and alcohol propellants. The rocket engine, turbopumps,
and control surfaces were contained in the tail section.

Jet deflector vanes positioned in the stream of exhaust gases and
external vanes maintained attitude and directional control during the
powered portion of flight.

  Length              14 m. (46 ft., 1 in.)
  Diameter            1.6 m. (5 ft., 5 in.)
  Propellants         Alcohol and liquid oxygen
  Thrust              25,400 kg. (56,000 lb.)
  Velocity            5633 km./hr. (3500 mi./hr.)
  Altitude            Peak of operational trajectory, 89 km. (55 mi.)


    [Illustration: 63. Illustration from World War II intelligence

    Warhead: approx. 1000 kg.
    Fuel filler cap
    Lifting lug
    Fuel tank. (Capacity 130 galls. petrol)
    Wirebound spherical compressed air bottles
    Grill incorporation shutters & petrol injection jets
    Impulse duct engine
    Light alloy nose fairing probably containing compass
    Launching rail
    Steel tubular main spar passing through fuel tank
    Pressed steel wing ribs
    Sheet steel wing covering
    Automatic pilot: 3 airdriven gyros: height & range setting controls
    Pneumatic servo mechanism operating rudder & elevators

The German-developed V-1 was an automatically controlled pilotless
aircraft for use against Allied cities during World War II.

The missile was launched from ground ramps. Once in the air, automatic
controls on board the craft took over. The V-1 climbed to a
predetermined altitude, followed a compass course, and dove to the
ground after a preset distance had been covered.

This mid-wing monoplane was powered by a unique pulsejet engine above
the rear portion of the fuselage.

The relatively low speed of the missile made it easy prey for
antiaircraft guns or fighters.

The V-1 on exhibit is from the U.S. Air Force, Park Ridge Depot.

                      German Antiaircraft Missiles

    [Illustration: 64. Rheintochter R-I (Rhine Maiden).]

Rheintochter I

The Rheintochter I (Rhine Maiden) was intended for use against Allied
bomber formations late in World War II. The German ground-to-air rocket
was fin-stabilized, and controlled by radio. The flight of the two-stage
vehicle was controlled by the four movable vanes on the nose of the

The first stage carried the missile away from the launching rail, while
the second stage brought the missile up to full speed and propelled it
to the target.

Both the booster and sustainer engines used solid fuel. After a
six-tenths of a second burn, the booster dropped off and the sustainer
motor ignited. The missile warhead was housed at the rear of the
sustainer stage. Exhaust gases were expelled through six nozzles located
between the main fins.

The program was abandoned in December 1944, after 82 Rheintochter I
rockets had been test fired. By then it had become apparent that the
missile could not reach the operational altitude of modern bomber


    [Illustration: 65. Hs-298.]

The Hs-298 was designed to combat the Allied bomber threat to wartime
Germany. This air-to-air missile could be launched from either fighter
or bomber aircraft and was in quantity production early in 1945.

It carried 45.4 kilograms (100 pounds) of high explosives that were
detonated by proximity fuse when the missile was within 9.1 meters (30
feet) of an enemy airplane.


    [Illustration: 66. X-4.]

The fin-stabilized X-4 air-to-air missile was guided to its target by
means of electrical impulses which passed through two wires connecting
the rocket to the launch aircraft until detonation. Once the missile was
on its way to the target bomber, the fighter pilot directed its course
with a separate small control stick in his cockpit. Because the control
wires streamed out ahead of the launching aircraft, the pilot was
prevented from evasive maneuvering.

Launched from German fighter aircraft, usually a FW-190, the X-4 was
powered by either a solid-propellant engine or a bi-propellant
liquid-rocket engine. It carried a 20-kilogram (44-pound) warhead.


    [Illustration: 67. Jupiter-C launches the first American satellite,
    January 31, 1958.]

Jupiter-C carried the first successful American artificial earth
satellite, _Explorer 1_, into orbit on January 31, 1958. Jupiter-C
launched additional Explorer satellites on March 26 and July 26, 1958.

Jupiter-C, or Juno 1, is a modified version of the Redstone Ballistic
Missile and a direct descendant of the V-2 (A-4) rocket developed in
Germany during the second World War.

The vehicle’s main stage is powered by a rocket engine burning liquid
oxygen and a hydrazine mixture. The second and third stages are
contained in the “tub” on the nose of the rocket. Both use scaled-down
Sergeant solid-propellant rockets: eleven in the second stage and three
in the third. A final Sergeant motor is attached to the base of the
satellite to provide the velocity necessary to place the vehicle in
orbit. An electric motor spun the entire “tub” prior to launch and
during the climb into space in order to stabilize the satellite.

The Jupiter-C was built by the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency.


    [Illustration: 68. Three-stage Vanguard launch vehicle boosts the
    second American satellite into Earth-orbit, March 17, 1958.]

Standing 21.6 meters (70.8 feet) high and weighing more than 10,000
kilograms (20,000 pounds), the Vanguard launch vehicle successfully
orbited three satellites. The first was _Vanguard 1_, launched on March
17, 1958.

The rocket has three stages. The first-stage motor, burning kerosene and
liquid oxygen, operated for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. The second stage
carried the vehicle to an altitude of 210 kilometers (130 miles),
propelled by white-fuming nitric acid and unsymmetrical
dimethylhydrazine (UDMH). With propellants exhausted, the upper stages
then coasted to 480 kilometers (300 miles) above the surface of the
Earth where the solid-propellant third-stage motor fired to place the
satellite into orbit.

The Vanguard was designed and built by the Martin Company for the U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory.


    [Illustration: 69. Four-stage Scout vehicle launches satellite from
    the Western Test Range, California.]

    [Illustration: 70. Scout in vertical position prior to the launch of
    an Explorer science satellite, April 29, 1965.]

On February 16, 1961, Scout became the first solid-propellant vehicle to
orbit a satellite (_Explorer 9_). It is a four-stage launch vehicle that
can perform a variety of space and reentry research tasks. Its
relatively low cost has made it a popular choice for many satellite
programs, including Transit navigation satellites, the Small Astronomy
and Small Scientific Satellites, the Beacon Explorer, Hawkeye,
Micrometeoroid, Meteoroid Technology, and Solrad satellites. The rocket
has also been used extensively to launch foreign satellites. ANS-A
(Netherlands), GRP-A (Germany), UK-5 (England), Eole (France), San Marco
5 (Italy), and the ESRO satellites for the European Space Research
Organization (now European Space Agency) have all gone aloft aboard
Scout launch vehicles.

The satellite in the nose of the Scout on exhibit is an INJUN/Air
Density Explorer identical to that launched from Wallops Island,
Virginia, on August 8, 1968.

Scout was built by the LTV Aerospace Corporation for the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense.

The Scout is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and
LTV Aerospace Corporation.

                             Minuteman III

    [Illustration: 71. Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg AFB,

The Minuteman III is the standard U.S. land-based intercontinental
ballistic missile. This three-stage solid-propellant missile is launched
from underground silos that are 24.4 meters (80 feet) deep and 3.7
meters (12 feet) in diameter. These missiles can be launched either from
underground control centers or by an airborne launch control center
installed in KC-135 aircraft.

Minuteman III was first test-fired on August 16, 1968, and has since
replaced earlier Minuteman series ICBMs in the operational system. This
missile was designed by Boeing for the Air Force Strategic Air Command.

This missile is from the US. Air Force and Boeing Aerospace Corporation.

                              Poseidon C-3

    [Illustration: 72. Launch of Poseidon from nuclear-powered

This two-stage solid-propellant Fleet Ballistic Missile is launched
underwater from nuclear-powered submarines. The Poseidon is launched by
compressed air, with first-stage ignition just after the missile is
clear of the hull. Poseidon carried the Mk-3 Multiple Independently
targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRV)—thermonuclear weapons which enable a
single missile to cover a number of targets.

The first successful test flight of Poseidon was from Cape Canaveral on
August 16, 1968, and the first submarine launch was from the U.S.S.
_James Madison_ on August 3, 1970.

The Poseidon C-3 is from the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Aircraft


    [Illustration: 73. Closeup view of Skylab space-station cluster
    photographed against a black-sky background from the _Skylab 3_
    Command Module during the “fly around” inspection prior to docking.]

Launched into earth orbit on May 14, 1973, Skylab was a research center
that housed three-man crews on three different visits to the space
station. The longest mission lasted nearly three months.

Equipment and experiments on board the orbiting station were designed to
accommodate four areas of research: earth observation to further
knowledge of natural resources and the earth’s environment; solar
observation to increase understanding of solar processes and influences
on earth’s environment; study of the effects of long duration
weightlessness on man, basic biological processes and adaptability to
space flight conditions; and experiments in processing of materials
under the unique conditions of weightlessness and vacuum environment of
space. All missions were highly successful in obtaining data and

Skylab consisted of four major components: the Orbital Work Shop (OWS),
Airlock Module (AM). Multiple Docking Adapter (MDA), and the Apollo
Telescope Mount (ATM).

The cylindrical Orbital Work Shop is 15 meters (48 feet) in length and
6.5 meters (22 feet) in diameter. The workshop is divided into two major
areas by an open-grid partition. By wearing special shoes, the
astronauts can use this grid to anchor themselves in the weightlessness
of space. The lower portion contains the crew quarters, food preparation
and dining areas, washroom, and waste processing and disposal

    [Illustration: 74. Orbital Workshop crew-quarters installations.]

    M131 chair control
    Sleep compartment 70 sq ft
    Head 30 sq ft
    Wardroom 97 sq ft
    M507 gravity substitute work bench
    Experiment compartment 181 sq ft
    M171 gas analyzer
    M171 helmet stowage
    M092 LBNPD
    Electric power control console
    M131 rotating chair

The upper portion contains a large work-activity area, water-storage
tanks, food freezers, film vaults, and experiment equipment.

The Airlock Module enabled spacesuited crew members to make excursions
outside the Skylab to replace or adjust equipment, change film, or carry
out other extra-vehicular activities. This capability was vital to
emergency repairs by the astronauts on the first mission. The Airlock
Module was attached to the OWS and passage to the module was
accomplished through a hatch which connected the module to the interior
of the workshop. When an astronaut entered the module, he would vent the
atmosphere of the module into space. When the pressure in the airlock
reached zero, the crew member could open the outer hatch and float out
into space.

    [Illustration: 75. Airlock Module.]

The Multiple Docking Adapter (MDA) was used by crews arriving or
departing from the Skylab workshop. The Apollo command/service modules
delivered crews to the MDA from which the astronauts could enter Skylab
through the hatch in the docking port. In an emergency, two
command/service modules could dock at the MDA. The MDA also held
equipment for earth resources multispectral photography, materials
processing, and astronomy. The Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) was on top
of and controlled by the MDA. It contained six astronomical instruments
to obtain information about the Sun.

    [Illustration: 76. Multiple Docking Adapter.]

Solar energy is the prime source of electric power on Skylab. Two
systems of solar electric-cell arrays—one wing on the OWS and four
panels on the ATM—deployed after the Skylab reached orbit. Principal
contractors: OWS—McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company; AM—McDonnell
Douglas Astronautics Company; MDA—Martin Marietta Aerospace.

The Skylab components on display were presented to the museum by the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

                       Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

    [Illustration: 77. Artist conception of the Apollo-Soyuz Test
    Project rendezvous.]

On May 24, 1972, President Richard Nixon and Aleksey Kosygin, Chairman
of the USSR Council of Ministers, signed an agreement “concerning
cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful
purposes.” The signing represented a formal endorsement of negotiations
that had been held between the two nations over several years. The
agreement established the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) to develop
and fly a standardized docking system “to enhance the safety of manned
flight in space and to provide the opportunity for conducting joint
scientific missions in the future.”

On July 15, 1975, the afternoon countdown for the Soviet launch was
completed and _Soyuz_ lifted off from the Baykonur complex near Tyuratum
in Central Asia, some 3200 kilometers (2000 miles) southeast of Moscow.
_Soyuz_ carried cosmonauts Alexey Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov.

Taking advantage of _Apollo_’s larger fuel supply for maneuvering,
_Apollo_ followed _Soyuz_ into orbit 7½ hours later. _Apollo_ was
launched atop a Saturn 1B from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

After careful maneuvering, the two craft linked up around noon on July
18. Some 225 kilometers (140 miles) above Earth, the astronauts and
cosmonauts visited each other’s craft, performed joint experiments, and
made further tests of the new docking system.

Following the undocking Saturday, _Apollo_ fired its engines briefly and
moved away from _Soyuz_. _Soyuz_ descended from orbit and landed in the
south-central USSR early Monday morning, July 21.

Astronauts Stafford, Slayton, and Brand remained in orbit conducting
research and making science demonstrations. Splashdown into the Pacific
Ocean occurred in late afternoon on Thursday, July 24.

The historic ASTP mission was accomplished by using existing systems and
a new docking module. The _Apollo_ spacecraft was made available when
the lunar-landing program was curtailed. Since the command module was
built with a docking system designed to work only with U.S. spacecraft,
a method of incorporating the new docking system had to be devised.

A second important problem was the difference between the spacecraft
atmospheres. The _Apollo_ used a pure oxygen atmosphere at about
one-third of the atmospheric pressure on earth’s surface; _Soyuz_ used a
nitrogen-oxygen mixture at normal atmospheric pressure. To permit crews
to pass from _Soyuz_ to _Apollo_ without suffering from the “bends” (a
painful condition experienced when nitrogen gas bubbles form in the body
fluids), engineers had to design an airlock to equalize the pressure.

    [Illustration: 78. The Soviet _Soyuz_ atop a three-stage launch
    vehicle lifts off July 15, 1975, to begin the joint US-USSR space

    [Illustration: 79. Overhead view of _Soyuz_ in orbit, photographed
    from the _Apollo_ spacecraft during the joint mission. The three
    major components of the _Soyuz_ are the spherical Orbital Module,
    the bell-shaped Descent Vehicle, and the cylindrical
    Instrument-Assembly Module from which two solar panels protrude.]

    [Illustration: 80. View of _Apollo_ spacecraft as seen in
    Earth-orbit from _Soyuz_. The Command/Service Module and Docking
    Module are contrasted against a black-sky background and the horizon
    of the Earth is below.]

The docking module, 3 meters long and 1.5 meters in diameter (10 feet
long and 5 feet in diameter), also solved the problem of incompatible
docking mechanisms by carrying the new docking system on one end and a
system compatible with _Apollo_ on the other.

Prime contractor for Apollo Command Module, Service Module, and Docking
Module was Rockwell International.

The _Apollo_ hardware is from the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, and the _Soyuz_ spacecraft is on loan from the USSR
Academy of Sciences.


  Command module
  Base diameter       3.90 m. (12.8 ft.)
  Length              3.66 m. (12 ft.)
  Weight              5896 kg. (13,000 lb.)
  Service module
  Diameter            3.9 m. (12.8 ft.)
  Length              6.71 m. (22 ft.)
  Weight at launch    24,947 kg. (55,000 lb.)
  Docking module
  Diameter            1.52 m. (5 ft.)
  Length              3.05 m. (10 ft.)
  Weight              1882 kg. (4155 lb.)


  Orbital module
  Diameter            2.29 m. (7.5 ft.)
  Length              2.65 m. (8.7 ft.)
  Weight              1224 kg. (2700 lb.)
  Descent module
  Diameter            2.29 m. (7.5 ft.)
  Length              2.20 m. (7.2 ft.)
  Weight              2802 kg. (6200 lb.)
  Instrument module
  Diameter            2.77 m. (9.75 ft.)
  Length              2.29 m. (7.5 ft.)
  Weight              2654 kg. (5850 lb.)

                           M2-F3 Lifting Body

    [Illustration: 81. Three chase planes salute the M2-F3 wingless
    lifting body following one of its rocket-powered flights. The
    blunt-nosed M2-F3 achieves its aerodynamic lift from the shape of
    its body.]

This wingless craft is called a lifting body, because it derives its
lift from the fuselage rather than from wings. Removing the wings
reduces the weight of the craft, but adds significant control problems.
The lifting body concept was developed early in the last decade to
explore the problems of aerodynamic heating and vehicle control during
reentry from earth orbit. These are the problems that will be especially
critical in the space shuttle of the 1980s.

The M2-F3 tested flight behavior of wingless craft over a wide range of

The M2-F3’s forerunner, the M2-F2, made 16 flights—all unpowered—between
July 1966 and May 1967. On May 10, it crashed on landing, partly due to
control instability. The craft was rebuilt, and the center fin was
added. This modification effectively solved the control problem, and the
new craft, designated M2-F3, logged 27 more flights by December 1972.
Some of the M2-F3’s flights were powered by a 3630-kilogram (8000-pound)
thrust rocket which boosted the craft to a higher altitude.

The M2-F3 was launched from a B-52 bomber at a height of about 13,300
meters (45,000 feet) and a usual speed of 730 kilometers (450 miles) per
hour. The maximum altitude achieved was 21,800 meters (71,500 feet). The
M2-F3’s record speed was 1718 kilometers (1066 miles) per hour. The
M2-F3 was built by Northrop.

The craft on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Length              6.8 m. (22 ft., 2 in.)
  Span                2.9 m. (9 ft., 7 in.)
  Height              2.5 m. (8 ft., 10 in.)
  Weight              2720 kg. (6000 lb.) empty; 4540 kg. (10,000 lb.)
  Speed               1718 km. per hr. (1066 m. per hr.) max. achieved
  Altitude            21,800 m. (71,500 ft.) max. achieved
  Mach number         1.5 max. achieved

                               Freedom 7

    [Illustration: 82. Marine helicopter hovers over _Freedom 7_ after
    the spacecraft carried the first American into space. Astronaut
    Shepard dangles in body harness as he is hoisted to helicopter.]

On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American in
space. He flew this Mercury spacecraft, _Freedom 7_, through a
15-minute, 22-second sub-orbital, or ballistic, space flight.

A Redstone booster, burning liquid oxygen and hydrazine-base fuel,
lifted _Freedom 7_ from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The vehicle’s
single engine developed 35,380 kilograms (78,000 pounds) of thrust.

The structure of the Mercury is titanium, covered with steel and
beryllium shingles. The heat shield at the base of the spacecraft is of

The heat shield served as a “heat sink” by storing the heat created by
the spacecraft’s reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft
reached the ocean before the heat could penetrate the interior of the
craft. (Later flights used ablative heat shields, which protected the
spacecraft by vaporizing and burning away during reentry.)

_Freedom 7_ traveled at a maximum speed of 8335 kilometers (5180 miles)
per hour, going 485 kilometers (302 miles) downrange. The maximum
altitude was 187 kilometers (116 miles).

Prime contractor for Mercury was the McDonnell Aircraft Company.

The _Freedom 7_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Diameter            2 m. (6 ft., 6 in.) max.
  Length              2.8 m. (9 ft., 2 in.) at launch
  Weight              1660 kg. (3650 lb.) at launch; 1100 kg. (2422
                        lb.) as exhibited

                                Gemini 7

    [Illustration: 83. This photo of _Gemini 7_ was taken through the
    hatch window of the _Gemini 6_ spacecraft during rendezvous
    maneuvers 260 kilometers (160 miles) above Earth.]

_Gemini 7_ was launched on December 4, 1965, carrying astronauts Frank
Borman and James Lovell, Jr., into a two-week flight. _Gemini 6_ and _7_
accomplished the first manned rendezvous in space. It was an historic
flight for the United States’ manned space program and an important step
in the preparation for the Apollo lunar flights.

The story of the _Gemini 7/6_ mission had begun two months earlier. The
October launch of _Gemini 6_ had to be delayed when _Gemini 6_’s Agena
target vehicle failed to reach orbit. It was then decided that _Gemini
6_ would attempt to rendezvous with _Gemini 7_. Eight days after the
launch of _Gemini 7_, _Gemini 6_ was ready. But once again, the launch
had to be delayed—this time an electrical plug became detached from the
Titan booster prematurely, shutting down the engines. Finally, on
December 15, _Gemini 6_’s Titan II launch vehicle lifted off. _Gemini 6_
began a 6-hour chase to catch _Gemini 7_, which was in a near-circular
orbit 300 kilometers (186 miles) high.

_Gemini 6_’s launch put it 1175 kilometers (730 miles) behind _Gemini 7_
in an orbit which varied from 161 to 272 kilometers (100 to 169 miles)
in height. By flying in a lower altitude orbit, _Gemini 6_ astronauts
Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford circled the Earth at a higher
velocity, slowing down as they moved to match speed with _Gemini 7_ at
the higher orbit. Finally, Schirra jockeyed the _Gemini 6_ spacecraft to
within 30 centimeters (1 foot) from _Gemini 7_.

They stayed in formation for four revolutions while all four pilots
practiced maneuvering. Then _Gemini 6_ broke off and reentered,
splashing down on December 16, 1965.

_Gemini 7_ went on to complete its 14-day mission which set a record for
the longest U.S.-manned space flight which stood until the first Skylab
mission. _Gemini 7_ splashed down on December 18.

Prime contractor for Gemini was the McDonnell Aircraft Company.

_Gemini 7_ is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    [Illustration: 84. The Gemini spacecraft.]

  Rendezvous and Recovery Section
  Ejection Seat
  Adapter Equipment Section
  Reaction Control System Section
  Retrograde Section

                               F-1 Engine

    [Illustration: 85. Thrust chambers of the F-1 rocket engine on the
    manufacturing line.]

Five F-1 engines powered the first stage of the Saturn 5 launch vehicle
that launched the manned Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. These engines
developed a total thrust of 3.5 million kilograms (7.6 million pounds).
They burn liquid oxygen and a form of kerosene at a rate of 13,475
liters (3560 gallons) per second.

The propellants are supplied to the thrust chambers by turbopumps driven
by gas generators that use a fuel-rich mixture ratio of the same
propellants used in the engine.

The F-l was developed and produced by Rocketdyne, a division of Rockwell
International, under the technical direction of the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville.

The engine on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Function            Cluster of five providing 3.4 million kg. (7.5
                        million lb.) of thrust for Saturn 5 first stage
  Thrust              690,000 kg. (1,522,000 lb.)
  Propellants         Kerosene (fuel) and liquid oxygen (oxidizer)
  Length              5.8 m. (19 ft.) with nozzle extension
  Diameter            3.8 m. (12 ft., 4. in.) with nozzle extension

    [Illustration: 86. The first Apollo/Saturn 5 space vehicle on its
    way to the launch pad.]

                          Lunar Roving Vehicle

    [Illustration: 87. The _Apollo 15_ Lunar Roving Vehicle was the
    first motor vehicle on the Moon.]

The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is a spacecraft designed to carry two
astronauts, their life-support systems, scientific equipment, and lunar
samples on the airless, low-gravity surface of the Moon.

Lunar Roving Vehicles were used on Apollo missions _15_, _16_, and _17_
and were driven a total of 90 kilometers (56 miles) on the Moon.

The crew of _Apollo 15_, the first to use an LRV, drove their vehicle
27.9 kilometers (17.3 miles) at speeds up to 19-21 kilometers (12-13
miles) per hour. In comparison the _Apollo 14_ astronauts traveled only
4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) on foot.

LRVs enabled the astronauts to carry heavy, bulky equipment and to place
scientific instruments at considerable distances from the lunar module.

An LRV could carry two astronauts as far as 91.5 kilometers (57 miles)
across the lunar surface or operate for up to 78 hours.

Each LRV was transported to the Moon in a compartment of the descent
stage of a lunar module.

Four LRVs were built by the Boeing Company. Three were used on the Moon;
the LRV on display was used in tests.

The LRV on exhibit is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  On Earth            210 kg. (462 lb.)
  On Moon             34 kg. (76 lb.)
  On Earth            490 kg. (1080 lb.)
  On Moon             80 kg. (178 lb.)
  Length              3.1 m. (10 ft., 2 in.)
  Width               1.8 m. (6 ft.)
  Wheel base          2.3 m. (7 ft., 6 in.)
  Turning radius      3 m. (10 ft.)
  Drive               One ¼ h.p. motor in each wheel; total 1 h.p.
  Power source        Two 36-v. silver-zinc batteries

                    Apollo Lunar Tools and Equipment

    [Illustration: 88. The Apollo Lunar Hand Tool Carrier holds 32
    kilograms (70 pounds) of equipment, including a trenching tool, two
    geology scoops, four rock bags, a portable magnetometer, and five

  Extension handle
  Core tube caps assy.
  Color chart & traverse map
  Core tubes
  16mm camera
  Camera staff
  35-bag dispenser
  Core tubes

Most tools and other pieces of equipment used by Apollo astronauts on
the Moon were left behind as the astronauts departed to return to the
Earth. This was done to conserve weight in the lunar module ascent stage
so that the maximum quantity of samples of lunar soil and rocks could be
brought back to the Earth.

Some tools and pieces of equipment, however, were returned to the Earth.
These include such items as a lunar hammer, a 16-mm camera, film
cassettes, lunar sample return containers, parts of a lunar roving
vehicle fender, and parts of the unmanned spacecraft _Surveyor 3_
visited by _Apollo 12_ astronauts.

In addition, astronauts carried small mementos with them when they
landed on the Moon.

Other lunar tools and instruments on exhibit were backup, prototype, or
used by the astronauts in pre-flight training.

The lunar hammer is on loan from Alan L. Bean; other tools and
instruments are from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    [Illustration: 89. An Apollo lunar sample return container. In this
    view, the rock box contains sample material and core tubes.]

                    Apollo Command Module: Skylab 4

    [Illustration: 90. _Skylab 4_ Command Module is hoisted aboard the
    U.S.S. _New Orleans_ after completing 1214 orbits.]

The _Skylab 4_ command module ferried the crew of the last Skylab
mission—astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R.
Pogue. The _Skylab 4_ crew lived in the Skylab for 84 days, from
November 16, 1973, to February 8, 1974.

In flight, the Apollo command module operated with a service module—an
equipment section, 7.4 meters (24 feet) long and 4 meters (13 feet) in
diameter—attached to the command module. The service module provided
electrical power, oxygen, and water for the command module for most of a
typical flight.

In addition, the service module contained the 9300-kilogram
(20,500-pound) thrust Service Propulsion System, an engine capable of
being throttled and restarted. During Apollo lunar flights, the engine
provided thrust for mid-course trajectory changes and boosted the
command/service module combination out of lunar orbit and back to Earth.
The service module was jettisoned just before reentry into the earth’s

During reentry, the command module’s exterior was subjected to
temperatures of around 2800°C (5000°F). The command module is covered
with an ablative heat shield composed of a phenolic epoxy resin in a
fiberglass honeycomb structure. As friction with the earth’s atmosphere
caused the heat shield to char and vaporize, the heat was carried away
from the spacecraft. The heat shield varies in thickness from 7
centimeters (2.75 inches) at the base to .6 centimeter (.25 inch) at the
forward section. Total weight of the heat shield is about 1400 kilograms
(3000 pounds).

The prime contractor for the Apollo Command Module was North American
Rockwell Corporation.

The command module is from the National Aeronautics and Space

  Diameter            3.9 m. (12 ft., 10 in.) max.
  Length              3.2 m. (10 ft., 7 in.)

                               Moon Rocks

    [Illustration: 91. A sample of vesicular basalt, produced by lunar
    volcanism 3.7 billion years ago, in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory.
    Devices record size and orientation of the rock. The cavities in
    this sample were formed by gases escaping from the still-molten
    rock. This sample is 13.5 centimeters (5.5 inches) long. A fragment
    of this lunar rock is on display in the “Apollo to the Moon”

During the six Apollo program moon landings, astronauts collected and
returned to Earth samples of the lunar surface. The samples were
collected both from the flat maria regions—great basins created by
ancient meteoric impacts and later filled with lava from the moon’s
interior—and from the highland regions.

Subsequent analysis of the samples has indicated that the moon’s surface
is largely composed of three kinds of rock.

Basalt, the rock of the maria regions, was formed as lavas from the
interior of the Moon welled to the surface, filled the great meteoric
impact basins, and then cooled.

Anorthosite, the highland rock, is believed by many scientists to have
formed when the original crust of the Moon cooled and solidified.
According to this theory, a light mineral, plagioclase, floated to the
surface of the Moon and formed the anorthosite.

Breccia, the shocked rock, is composed of large and small fragments of
rocks which were shattered and redistributed on the lunar surface by
meteoric impacts. Subsequently, the fragments were recombined into new
rocks by heat and pressure.

Lunar soils are largely composed of fragments of the three types of
rocks and their minerals, and glass produced by meteoric impacts and
volcanic eruptions.

Lunar rock samples are on loan from the National Aeronautics and Space

    [Illustration: 92. Astronaut Schmitt collects samples with the lunar
    rake, a hand tool used to collect rocks and rock chips ranging in
    size from 1.3 centimeter (½ inch) to 2.5 centimeters (1 inch).]

                           Suggested Reading

  Historical and General Background
      Clarke, Arthur C. _The Promise of Space._ New York: Harper & Row,
      Dornberger, Walter. _V-2._ New York: Viking Press, 1954.
      Durant III, Frederick C.; and George S. James, eds. _First Steps
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          Giroux, 1963.
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          Book Co., 1963.
      Cortright, Edgar M. _Exploring Space with a Camera._ Washington,
          D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968.
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          _Manned Spacecraft._ New York: Fairchild Publications, Inc.,
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    [Illustration: _FIRST FLOOR PLAN_]

  103  Vertical Flight
  102  Air Transportation
  101  Museum Shop
  100  Milestones of Flight
  115  Theater Entrance
  114  Space Hall
  113  Rocketry & Space Flight
  105  General Aviation
  106  Exhibition Flight
  107  Life in the Universe
  108  South Lobby
  109  Flight Testing
  110  Satellites
  111  Benefits From Flight

    [Illustration: _SECOND FLOOR PLAN_]

  203  Sea-Air Operations
  201  Spacearium
  215  Theater
  213  Flight Technology
  205  World War II Aviation
  206  Balloons and Airships
  207  Air Traffic Control
  208  Special Exhibits
  209  World War I Aviation
  210  Apollo to the Moon
  211  Flight and the Arts

                              Front Cover:

    [Illustration: Lift-off of an Atlas Centaur carrying INTELSAT
    payload, August 23, 1973.]

    [Illustration: Earth from space photographed by the _Apollo 16_

    [Illustration: Astronaut White performs first spacewalk from _Gemini

    [Illustration: _Apollo 12_ astronaut with United States flag on
    lunar surface.]

                              Back Cover:

    [Illustration: Main parachutes lower the _Skylab 3_ command module
    to the Pacific Ocean.]

    [Illustration: Solid rocket motors being jettisoned during launch of
    Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-1.]

    [Illustration: View from right-hand seat of _Gemini 8_ spacecraft
    when docked with Agena target vehicle.]

    [Illustration: Artist’s conception of Viking Mars lander as it heads
    for touch down.]

    [Illustration: Agena target vehicle seen from _Gemini 11_ after
    tether drop.]

    [Illustration: View of Skylab Orbital Workshop photographed by
    _Skylab 2_ crew.]

    [Illustration: _Viking 2_—bound for Mars—is launched aboard Titan
    Centaur on September 9, 1975.]

    [Illustration: Paul Calle’s interpretation of Saturn 5 launch.]

    [Illustration: New York to Norfolk composite photo from the Earth
    Resources Technology Satellite-1.]

    [Illustration: Photomicrograph of thin section of lunar rock.]

    [Illustration: Color enhancement of far ultraviolet photo of the
    Earth taken from space.]

    [Illustration: NASA’s Wallops Island Test Station in Virginia.]

(All photographs from the National Aeronautics and Space

    [Illustration: Back Cover]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Silently corrected a few palpable typos.

—Moved captions nearer the relevant images; tweaked image references
  within captions accordingly.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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