The Redstone Rocket
The Redstone is a United States Army surface-to-surface missile that is designed to supplement artillery cannon. It can be equipped with either a nuclear or high-explosive warhead. This missile is propelled by a 78,000-pound-thrust liquid-fuel engine that gives it a range of 200 miles. It is 70 feet long, 51/2 feet in diameter, and weighs 62,-000 pounds. Top speed is 3800 miles per hour. The Redstone can be transported by air, rail, or truck and assembled in the field.
It is fired from a portable launcher. This rocket served as the first stage of the space vehicles that launched Explorer I— the first United States satellite— Explorer III, and Explorer IV. The Redstone will also be used to carry our Mercury astronauts on short test flights into space prior to the launching which will send one of them into orbit around the earth. On January 31, 1961, a souped-up version of this highly reliable rocket shot a Project Mercury capsule, with a 371/2 -pound chimpanzee named Ham aboard,155 miles into space and 420 miles out over the Atlantic Ocean at a speed of 5,000 miles per hour. Ham's trip was hailed as a big step toward manned space flights.
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