Army Ballistic Missile Agency

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The Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) is the part of the US Army which, in the 1950s, designed the Jupiter-C IRBM and Jupiter IRBM. The Saturn I was also conceived by the ABMA. At this time the ABMA was headed by Doctor Wernher von Braun.

The ABMA and the Jupiter-C

After the US Naval Research Laboratory's Project Vanguard was chosen by the DOD Committee on Special Capabilities, over the ABMA's proposal to use a modified Redstone ballistic missile as a satellite launch vehicle, the ABMA was ordered to stop work on satellites and focus, instead, on intermediate missiles.

Wernher von Braun, disobeying orders, continued work on the design for what became the Jupiter-C IRBM. This was a 3 stage rocket, which, by coincidence, could be used to launch a satellite (in the Juno I configuration). In September 1956, the Jupiter-C was launched with a 30-lb dummy satellite. It is generally believed that, at this time, the ABMA could have put a satellite into orbit had the US government allowed ABMA to do so. A year later, the Soviets launched Sputnik I.

pl:Wojskowa Agencja Pocisków Balistycznych

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