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NEWS

RE LEAS E

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 400 MARYLAND AVENUE, SW, WASHINGTON 25, D.C. TELEPHONES: WORTH 2-4155-WORTH 3-6925

RELEASE NO:

FOR RELEASE:

63-193

MONDAY P.M.'s August 26, 1963

APOLLO--LITTLE JOE II FLIGHT QUALIFICATION TEST N,1O.1 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.

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Little 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 per-

formance

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 space-

craft at the NASA Wallops

Island, Va., station.

The Little Joe II will be launched on a ballistic tra-

jectory with a maximum altitude

of 30,000 feet.

Impact will

occur about 66 miles down range from the launch site approxi-

mately 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.

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General 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

simultaneously. The launch elevation will be approxi-

mately 85 degrees from horizontal.

Launch direction will

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.

The

Algol motor burns for about 40 seconds.

However, it is

planned to terminate thrust between 30-35 seconds.

The

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.

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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.

Four fins are attached at the

base of the vehicle.

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.

(The exact

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combination of Algol and. Recruit motors

to be

used

in

futuvle Little Joe II flights

depend

upon

thrust

require-

ments for each particular flifrht.)

The total thrust can

be altered by varying the combination of engines.

The electrical power supply for the vehicle instru-

mentation system is provided by a manually activated silver-zinc battery. Prior to launch,povwer is applied to the vehicle from the blockhouse via the umbilical. Switches, indicating lights and other electrical devices necessary for

control and regulation of the the control and test consoles

Total lift-off weight of

power system are

located in

in the blockhouse. the vehicle and payload is

56.500 pounds.

Of this total 20,600 pounds is solid pro-

pellant. The Apollo dummy payload

is fabricated of steel.

The

adapter is 154 inches in diameter and 167 inches long.

The

simulated command module is a truncated cone

126 inches long

and 154 inches in diameter at the base.

tower is 33 feet high.

The dummy escape

Total height of the Little Joe II launch vehicle and payload is 86 feet.

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Launcher

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 op-

erations

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.

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Little Joe II is manufactured by General Dynamics/

4

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.

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I

N EWS

R E LEAS

E

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

A

A

400 MARYLAND

AVENUE,

SW, WASHINGTON

25,

D.C.

TELEPHONES: WORTH 2-4155-WORTH 3.6925

FOR RELEASE:

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.

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