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Jupiter IRBM

From Academic Kids

Jupiter IRBM mobile missile
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Jupiter IRBM mobile missile

The Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, first tested in 1957, was the United States' second Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). Given the designation PGM-19, it was a liquid-fueled (LOX and RP-1) rocket, with one engine producing 66 kN of thrust. The U.S. Air Force Thor was Americas' first IRBM.

In September 1955, Dr. Wernher von Braun, briefing the Secretary of Defense on long range missiles pointed out that a 1,500 mi (2,400 km) missile was a logical extension of the Redstone.

In December 1955, the U.S. Secretary's of the Army and Navy announced a dual Army and Navy program to create a land and sea based IRBM. Because of naval basing, the Jupiter IRBM was designed as a short squat missile to ease handling aboard ships. The Navy withdrew from the project in November 1956 in favor of the solid fuel Polaris missile. Despite the withdrawal of the Navy from the project, the Jupiter IRBM retained its short squat dimensions.

Later in November 1956, the Department of Defense assigned all land based long range missiles to the U. S. Air Force. The U. S. Army retained battlefield missiles with a range of 200 miles (320 km) or less. The Jupiter IRBM program was transferred to the U. S. Air Force. The Air Force already had its own IRBM, the Thor. The Air Force always looked on the Jupiter IRBM as "not invented here".

There is some name confusion with another U.S. Army rocket was called the Jupiter-C. The Jupiter-C is a modified Redstone missile. Redstone missiles were modified by lengthing the fuel tanks and placing small solid fueled upper stages on them. These Jupiter-C rockets were used to perform reentry nose cone test flights and to launch the Americas' early Explorer 1 and Explorer 3 satellites. Jupiter-C rockets were also called Juno or Juno I rockets. See diagram at lower right showing a Redstone, Jupiter-C, Mercury-Redstone and Jupiter IRBM missile.

The Saturn I and Saturn IB rockets were manufactured by using a single Jupiter IRBM rocket propellant tank, in combination with eight Redstone rocket propellant tanks clustered around it, to form a powerful first stage launch vehicle.

The Jupiter IRBM was also modified by adding upper stages, in the form of clustered Sergent rockets, to create a satellite/space probe launch vehicle. This modified Jupiter IRBM was called the Juno-II.

Biological Flights


Missing image
Baker.jpg
Squirrel monkey, "Baker" rode a Jupiter IRBM into space in 1959

Jupiter IRBM missiles were used in a series of suborbital biological test fights. On December 13, 1958, Jupiter IRBM AM-13 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a U.S. Navy trained South American squirrel monkey named "Gordo" onboard. The nose cone recovery parachute failed to operate and "Gordo" did not survive the flight. Telemetry data sent back during the flight showed that the monkey survived the 10 g (10 m/s²) of launch, 8 minutes of weightlessness and 40 g (390 m/s²) of reentry at 10,000 mph (4.5 km/s). The nose cone sank 1,302 nautical miles (2,411 km) downrange from Cape Canaveral and was not recovered.

Another biological flight was launched on May 28, 1959. Aboard Jupiter IRBM AM-18, were a 7 pound (3.2 kg) American born rhesus monkey, "Able" and an 11 ounce (310 g) South American squirrel monkey, "Baker". The monkeys rode in the nose cone of the missile to an altitude of 360 miles (579 km) and a distance of 1,700 miles (2,700 km) down the Atlantic Missile Range from Cape Canaveral, Florida. They withstood accelerations 38 times the normal pull of gravity and were weightless for about 9 minutes. A top speed of 10,000 mph (4.5 km/s) was reached during their 16 minute flight. After Splashdown the Jupiter nosecone carrying Able and Baker was recovered by the sea going tug, USS Kiowa ATF-72.

The monkeys survived the flight in good condition. "Able" died four days after the flight, from a reaction to the anesthesia, while undergoing surgery to remove an infected medical electrode. "Baker" died on November 29, 1984 at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Gordo, Able and Baker were just three of many monkeys sent into space.

Military Deployment

Deployment locations for Jupiter IRBM missiles in Italy from 1961 to 1963.
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Deployment locations for Jupiter IRBM missiles in Italy from 1961 to 1963.

In April, 1958, the U.S. Department of Defense notified the U.S. Air Force it had tentatively planned to deploy the first three Jupiter squadrons (45 missiles) in France. Negotiations between France and the U.S. fell through in June, 1958. Charles De Gaulle, the new French President, refused to accept the basing of any Jupiter IRBM missiles in France. This prompted United States to explore the possibility of deploying the missiles in Italy and Turkey. The U. S. Air Force was already implementing plans to base four squadrons (60 missiles) of Thor IRBM's in Britain around Nottingham.

In April 1959, The Secretary of the Air Force issued implementing instructions to U. S. Air Force to deploy two Jupiter IRBM squadrons to Italy. The two squadrons totaling 30 missiles were deployed at 10 sites in Italy from 1961 to 1963. They were operated by Italian Air Force crews, but U.S. Air Force personnel controlled arming of the nuclear warheads. These missiles were deployed around the Italian countryside and operated by the 36^Aerobrigata Interdizione Strategica (36th Strategic Interdiction Air Squadron, Italian Air Force), stationed out of the Gioia Del Colle Air Base, Italy. In 1962, a Bulgarian MiG-17 reconnaissance airplane is reported to have crashed into an olive grove near one of the US Jupiter missile launch sites in Italy, after overflying the site.

October 1959, the location of the third and final Jupiter IRBM squadron was settled when the Government to Government agreement was signed with Turkey. United States and Turkey concluded an agreement to deploy one Jupiter squadron on NATO's southern flank.

One squadron totaling 15 missiles was deployed at 5 sites near Izmir, Turkey from 1961 to 1963. They were operated by U.S. Air Force personnel. The first flight of three Jupiter missiles were turned over to the Trk Hava Kuvvetleri (Turkish Air Force) in late October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. U.S. Air Force personnel controlled arming of the nuclear warheads. The actual deployment locations of the Jupiter IRBM missiles within Turkey are still secret more than 40 years later. According to some that took part in the Turkish missile deployment in 1961, one of the five sites was in the mountains near Manisa, and another site was in the mountains near Akhisar. The central deployment base was Cigli Air Force Base.

On four occasions between mid-October 1961 and August 1962, Jupiter IRBM mobile missiles carrying 1.4 megaton of TNT (5.9 PJ) nuclear warheads were struck by lightning at their bases in Italy. In each case, thermal batteries were activated, and on two occasions, tritium-deuterium "boost" gas was injected into the warhead pits, partially arming them. After the fourth lightning strike on a Jupiter IRBM, the U.S. Air Force placed protective lightning strike-diversion tower arrays at all of the Italian and Turkish Jupiter IRBM missiles sites.

By the time that the Turkish Jupiters had been installed, the missiles were already largely obsolete and increasingly vulnerable to Soviet attacks. President John F. Kennedy ordered the removal of all Jupiter IRBMs upon taking office in 1961. The Air Force, however, delayed removal and the President was infuriated to learn that they had not yet been removed more than a year later. All Jupiter IRBM's were removed from service by April 1963.

Jupiter IRBM Specifications

Missing image
Jupiter-C_vs_Jupiter_IRBM.jpg
Illustration showing differences between Redstone, Jupiter-C, Mercury-Redstone
and Jupiter IRBM.
  • Length: 60 ft (18.3 m)
  • Diameter: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
  • Total Fueled Weight: 108,804 lb (49,353 kg)
  • Empty Weight: 13,715 lb (6,221 kg)
  • Oxygen (LOX) Weight: 68,760 lb (31,189 kg)
  • RP-1 (kerosene) Weight: 30,415 lb (13,796 kg)
  • Thrust: 150,000 lbf (667 kN)
  • Engine: Rocketdyne LR70-NA (Model S-3D)
  • ISP: 247.5 lbf·s/lb (2.43 kN·s/kg)
  • Burning time: 157.8 s
  • Propellant consumption rate: 627.7 lb/s (284.7 kg/s)
  • Range: 1,500 mi (2,410 km)
  • Flight time: 1,016.9 s
  • Cutoff velocity: 8,984 mph (14,458 km/h) - Mach 13.04
  • Reenty velocity: 10,645 mph (17,131 km/h) - Mach 15.45
  • Acceleration: 13.69 g (134 m/s²)
  • Peak deceleration: 44.0 g (431 m/s²)
  • Peak altitude: 390 mi (628 km)
  • CEP 4,925 ft (1,500 m)
  • Warhead: 1.45 Mt Thermonuclear W-49 - 1,650 lb (750 kg)
  • Fusing: Proximity and Impact
  • Guidance: Inertial

Juno II Launch Vehicle Specifications

Missing image
Juno_II_rocket.jpg
Juno II launch vehicle derived from Jupiter IRBM mobile missile.

The Juno II was a satellite launch vehicle derived from the Jupiter IRBM. It was used for 10 satellite launches. Six of those launches failed. Juno II was a 4-stage rocket. Launched Pioneer 3, Pioneer 4, Explorer 7, Explorer 8, Explorer 11.

  • Juno II Total length: 24.0 m
  • Orbit payload to 200 km: 41 kg
  • Escape velocity payload: 6 kg
  • First launch date: December 6, 1958
  • Last launch date: May 24, 1961



Parameter 1st Stage 2nd Stage 3rd Stage 4th Stage
Gross mass 54,431 kg 462 kg 126 kg 42 kg
Empty mass 5,443 kg 231 kg 63 kg 21 kg
Thrust 667 kN 73 kN 20 kN 7 kN
Isp 248 lbf·s/lb
(2.43 kN·s/kg)
214 lbf·s/lb
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
214 lbf·s/lb
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
214 lbf·s/lb
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 182 s 6 s 6 s 6 s
Length 18.28 m 1.0 m 1.0 m 1.0 m
Diameter 2.67 m 1.0 m 0.50 m 0.30 m
Engine: Rocketdyne S-3D Eleven Sergents Three Sergents One Sergent
Propellant LOX/RP-1 Solid Fuel Solid Fuel Solid fuel


Jupiter IRBM and Juno II Launches


All test launches were from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Serial Number Mission Launch Date Notes
AM-1A AM-1A March 1, 1957 Test Launch 1. Missile test. Failure. Apogee 14 mi (23 km)
AM-1B AM-1B April 26, 1957 Test Launch 2. Missile test. Failure. Apogee 18 mi (29 km)
AM-1 AM-1 May 31, 1957 Test Launch 3. Missile test. Success. Apogee 500 mi (805 km)
AM-2 AM-2 August 28, 1957 Test Launch 4. Missile test. Success. Apogee 500 mi (805 km)
AM-3 AM-3 October 23, 1957 Test Launch 5. Missile test. Success. Apogee 500 mi (805 km)
AM-3A AM-3A November 27, 1957 Test Launch 6. Missile test. Failure. Apogee 20 mi (32 km)
AM-4 AM-4 December 16, 1957 Test Launch 7. Missile test. Failure. Apogee 63 mi (101 km)
AM-5 AM-5 May 18, 1958 Test Launch 8. Reentry test. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
AM-6B AM-6B July 17, 1958 Test Launch 9. Reentry test. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
AM-7 AM-7 August 27, 1958 Test Launch 10. Missile test. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
AM-9 AM-9 October 10, 1958 Test Launch 11. Missile test. Failure. Apogee 0 mi (0 km)
AM-11 Juno II December 6, 1958 Launch 12. Lunar probe. Pioneer 3. Failed to reach moon. Apogee 70,610 mi (113,640 km)
AM-13 Bio 1 December 13, 1958 Launch 13. Bio test flight. "Gordo" the monkey. Parachute failed. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
CM-21 CM-21 January 22, 1959 Test Launch 14. Tactical test flight. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
CM-22 CM-22 January 27, 1959 Test Launch 15. Missile test. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)
AM-14 Juno II March 3, 1959 Launch 16. Lunar probe. Pioneer 4. Passed within 58,983 km (probably improperly converted as others were here, unless original was 36,650 mi) of moon. In solar orbit.
CM-22A CM-22A April 4, 1959 Test Launch 17. Missile test. Success. Apogee 345 mi (555 km)

There were 46 test launches. More to be listed later.

External links

Related content

Related development:

Comparable missiles: Thor IRBM

Designation sequence: CGM-16/HGM-16 - PGM-17 - MGM-18 - PGM-19 - ADM-20 - MGM-21 - AGM-22

Designation sequence: SM-75 - TM-76 - GAM-77 - SM-78

Related lists: List of missiles


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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