|The PGM-19 Jupiter was a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) of the United States Air Force, removed from service by April 1963. It was a liquid-fueled (LOX and RP-1) rocket, with one engine producing 667 kN of thrust. Jupiter was America's second MRBM design, the first being Thor. Jupiter later served as a satellite launch vehicle.
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. Secretaries of the Army and Navy announced a dual Army and Navy program to create a land and sea based MRBM. Because of naval basing, the Jupiter MRBM 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 MRBM retained its original dimensions. As a result, the Jupiter was too wide to be carried aboard contemporary cargo aircraft.
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 MRBM program was transferred to the U. S. Air Force. The Air Force already had its own MRBM, the Thor. The Air Force always looked on the Jupiter MRBM as "not invented here".
There is some name confusion with another U.S. Army rocket called the Jupiter-C. The Jupiter-C is a modified Redstone missile. Redstone missiles were modified by lengthening 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 MRBM missile.
The Saturn I and Saturn IB rockets were manufactured by using a single Jupiter MRBM rocket propellant tank, in combination with eight Redstone rocket propellant tanks clustered around it, to form a powerful first stage launch vehicle.
The Jupiter MRBM was also modified by adding upper stages, in the form of clustered Sergeant rockets, to create a satellite/space probe launch vehicle. This modified Jupiter MRBM was called the Juno-II.
Location: Roanoke, VA
Category: Military Items
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