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RE LEAS E
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 400 MARYLAND AVENUE, SW, WASHINGTON 25, D.C. WORTH 2-4155-WORTH 3-6925 TELEPHONES:
RELEASE NO: 63-193
MONDAY P.M.'s August 26, 1963
1 APOLLO--LITTLE JOE II FLIGHT QUALIFICATION TEST N,1O. Press Kit The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is scheduled to flight test the Little Joe II launch vehicle at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico no earlier than August 28th. The test will be the first of a series by NIASA at the White Sands Range in the development of the Project Apollo spacecraft. Project Apollo is the NASA program to land
United States astronauts on the moon and return them safely to Earth before the end of this decade. Project develop-
ment and management is the responsibility of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas. -more-
-2Little Joe IT is a launch vehicle designed especially to simulate flight conditions which would be encountered during actual ApolJ.o flights. The solid fueled booster was
built to test the structural design and escape system of the Apollo command module under maximum aerodynamic conditions. The purpose of this week's test is to verify the performance of the Little Joe II vehicle during powered flight prior to employing it to test the command module. A dummy
payload simulating the size and weight of the command module and escape tower will be mounted on the vehicle. A smaller solid fueled rocket, called Little Joe, was used in a similar fashion to test the Project Mercury spacecraft at the NASA Wallops Island, Va., station.
The Little Joe II will be launched on a ballistic trajectory with a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet. Impact will
occur about 66 miles down range from the launch site approximately 100 seconds after lift-off. Following a successful flight qualification test, Little Joe II is scheduled to boost two boilerplate (engineering models) Apollo and one flight configuration spacecraft for besting the escape system under maximum aerodynamic pressures which simulate abort escape conditions during launch of the Apollo using the Saturn launch vehicle. -more-
-3General Flight Plan The Little Joe II will b launched from the United
States Army White Sands Missile Range Launch Area No. Three. All seven solid fueled motors will be ignited The launch elevation will be approxiLaunch direction will
mately 85 degrees from horizontal. be due north.
Wind condition may require some variation
in the setting in order to land in the selected impact zone. The Recruit motors burn for about two seconds. Algol motor burns for about 40 seconds. The
However, it is The
planned to terminate thrust between 30-35 seconds.
vehicle will pass through high "q" (maximum aerodynamic pressure area) abort cor~dition approximately 30 seconds after launch at an altitude of about 24,000 feet. Approximately 34 seconds after launch the Algol thrust wi'l be terminated by ground radio command. This signal
will rupture the motor by causing two longitudinal cuts in the motor case. A few seconds later the vehicle will achieve
a maximum altitude of about 30,000 feet, descend downrange and impact approximately 66 miles from the launch site. -more-
After impact the Little Joe II will be removed to a building at White Sands for postflight analysis. Little Joe II Launch Vehicle The configuration for the flight qualification test consists of the Little Joe II launch vehicle and the dummy payload simulating the Apollo command module, adapter and escape tower. The launch vehicle is 154 inches in diameter and 29 feet high. It is made up of two sections. The upper sec-
tion (forebody) is 19 feet high, and the lower section (afterbody) is 10 feet high. base of the vehicle. Four fins are attached at the
Each fin is 50 square feet in area
with edges swept back 45 degrees. The propulsion system consists of one Algol motor and six Recruit motors. The Algol motor producing 103,200
pounds thrust serves as the sustaining motor and provides the primary source of thrust. The Recruits, each producing
34,460 pounds thrust, serve as short duration-high thrust booster motors to supplement the sustaining motor at launch. The total thrust of the seven motors is 310,000 pounds. These seven motors are bolted to retaining rings in the thrust bulkhead of the vehicle afterbody. -more(The exact
-5combination of Algol and. Recruit motors to be used in futuvle Little Joe II flights depend upon thrust requirements for each particular flifrht.) The total thrust can
be altered by varying the combination of engines. The electrical power supply for the vehicle instrumentation system is provided by a manually activated silver-zinc battery. Prior to launch,povwer is applied to Switches,
the vehicle from the blockhouse via the umbilical.
indicating lights and other electrical devices necessary for control and regulation of the power system are located in the control and test consoles in the blockhouse. Total lift-off weight of the vehicle and payload is 56.500 pounds. pellant. The Apollo dummy payload is fabricated of steel. adapter is 154 inches in diameter and 167 inches long. The The Of this total 20,600 pounds is solid pro-
simulated command module is a truncated cone 126 inches long and 154 inches in diameter at the base. tower is 33 feet high. Total height of the Little Joe II launch vehicle and payload is 86 feet. -moreThe dummy escape
The Little Joe II launcher at the White Sends Missile Range is a fabricated steel structure. Its components in-
elude a pivot frame mounted on double-flange, crane-type trucks for rotation to require azimuth positions, a support platform incorporating pads and pins for vehicle support, screwjacks for tilting the support platform to required elevation angles, and a launcher mast. The mast, attached to the support platforni incorporates two stabilizing support arms for the vehicle and a support arm for the payload umbilical harness. Two A-frames are
attached to the pivot frame for support of the platform hinge points. The launcher is remotely adjlstable for
elevation and azimuth positions. Meteorological Assistance Weather conditions during the prelaunch and launch operations phase of the test maust be satisfactory to insure adequate optical coverage of all phases of the flight. Test
officials will base their launch-weather decisions upon local conditions of cloud cover, wind, blowing sand and rain. The
Meteorological D3partment of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range will furnish weather data.
-7Little Joe II is manufactured by General Dynamics/
Convair, San Diego, Calif. under contract to NASA. The solid-propellant Algol motor is manufactured by Aerojet-General Corp., Sacramento, Calif. Thiokol Chemical
Corp., Elkton, Md. manufactures the Recruit motors.
R E LEAS E
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 400 MARYLAND AVENUE, SW, WASHINGTON 25, D.C. WORTH 2-4155-WORTH 3.6925 TELEPHONES:
NOTE TO EDITORS:
This is to correct a typographical error in the Little Joe II press kit, NASA Release NO: 63-193 which was mailed to you for release Monday P.M.'s, August 26.
On page two, fourth paragraph, line 3, please change to read: "Impact will occur about 6.6 miles down range ...... instead of 66 miles.