Spaceflight before 1951

Spaceflight as a practical endeavor began during World War II with the development of operational liquid-fueled rockets. Beginning life as a weapon, the V-2 was pressed into peaceful service after the war at the United States' White Sands Missile Range as well as the Soviet Union's Kapustin Yar. This led to a flourishing of missile designs setting the stage for the exploration of space. The small American WAC Corporal rocket was evolved into the Aerobee, a much more powerful sounding rocket. Exploration of space began in earnest in 1947 with the flight of the first Aerobee, 46 of which had flown by the end of 1950. These and other rockets, both Soviet and American, returned the first direct data on air density, temperature, charged particles and magnetic fields in the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Spaceflight before 1951
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1978-Anh.026-01, Peenemünde, V2 beim Start.jpg
Launch of a V-2 from Peenemünde.
National firsts
Spaceflight Germany (1944)
 United States (1946)
 Soviet Union (1948)
Rockets
Maiden flightsNazi Germany V-2
United States Viking (first model)
United States Bumper
United States Aerobee RTV-N-8
United States Aerobee RTV-N-10
United States Aerobee XASR-SC-1
United States Aerobee XASR-SC-2
United States Aerobee RTV-A-1
Soviet Union R-1
Soviet Union R-1A
Soviet Union R-2E
Soviet Union R-2
RetirementsUnited States Aerobee RTV-N-8
United States Bumper
Soviet Union R-1A
Soviet Union R-2E

By 1948, the United States Navy had evolved the V-2 design into the Viking capable of more than 100 miles (160 km) in altitude. The first Viking to accomplish this feat, number four, did so 10 May 1950. The Soviet Union developed a virtual copy of the V-2 called the R-1, which first flew in 1948. Its longer-ranged successor, the R-2, entered military service in 1950. This event marked the entry of both superpowers into the post-V-2 rocketry era.

Origins and rocket developmentEdit

The era of spaceflight began in 1942 with the development of the V-2 rocket (A-4) as a ballistic missile by Germany, the first vehicle capable of reaching the 100 kilometres (62 mi) boundary of space (as defined by the World Air Sports Federation).[1] On 20 June 1944, a V-2 (MW 18014) was launched vertically, reaching a height of 174.6 kilometres (108.5 mi).[2]

The post-war years saw rapid development in rocket technology by both superpowers, jumpstarted by the dozens of V-2s and hundreds of German specialists that ended up in the custody of the Soviet Union and the United States.[3]: 216–7 [4]: 226 [5]: 43  The V-2, designed for carrying a warhead horizontally rather than vertical science missions, made an inefficient sounding rocket, while the wartime American WAC Corporal sounding rocket was too small to carry much scientific equipment.[4]: 250  In 1946, the US Navy began development of its own heavy sounding rocket, the Viking, derived in part from the V-2.[6]: 21–25 [6]: 236  The Aerobee was developed from the WAC Corporal to loft lighter payloads.[4]: 250–1 

The Soviet Union began military development of the R-1, a copy of the V-2 with modifications intended to improve reliability, in 1947.[5]: 41, 48  Flight testing of this first Soviet-made liquid-fueled missile began on 13 September 1948,[5]: 129  and the rocket entered military service in 1950.[5]: 135  Also from 1947, two advanced rockets with ranges of 600 kilometres (370 mi), the German émigré-designed G-1 (or R-10) and the Russian-designed R-2, competed for limited engineering and production staff, the latter winning out by the end of 1949[5]: 65  and being put into service in 1951.[5]: 274  The draft plan for the 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) range R-3 was approved on 7 December 1949,[5]: 67  though it was never developed, later designs proving more useful and achievable.[5]: 275–6 

Space explorationEdit

V-2, WAC Corporal, and R-1AEdit

 
Aerobee launch at sea

The V-2s captured from Germany at the end of World War II were used for engineering and scientific missions by the United States and the Soviet Union. The first 25 captured V-2s were launched in the 15 months commencing 15 March 1946.[4]: 398  By the end of 1950, more than 60 had been launched by the Americans, most of them equipped with research instruments.[7]: 6  The first biological payloads launched to high altitude were sent on V-2s, starting with seeds and fruit flies in 1947, followed by mice and monkeys from 1948 onward.[8]

The V-2 was also used in early experiments with two-stage rockets: Project Bumper combined the V-2 first stage with the WAC Corporal as second stage. On 24 February 1949, Bumper 5 set an altitude record of 417 kilometres (259 mi).[4]: 257–8  Around 10 WAC Corporals were also launched on their own in this period.[7]: 6 

The Soviet Union launched 11 captured V-2s in 1947.[5]: 41  Three of the V-2s launched by the USSR in 1947 carried 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) experiment packages for measuring cosmic rays at high altitude; at least one returned usable data.[9]: 56  Two Soviet R-1As (an experimental R-1 variant that tested nose cone separation at altitude) also carried scientific equipment during test launches in 1949, but neither returned usable data.[10]

AerobeeEdit

First launched on 24 November 1947, the solid/liquid-fuel hybrid Aerobee quickly secured a reputation for reliability. With the development of these first generation purpose-built sounding rockets, the exploration of Earth's upper atmosphere and the nearest reaches of space began in earnest, a total of 46 Aerobee flights being launched through 1950.[11] Aerobee flights measured the velocity and density of cosmic rays above 70 miles (110 km) and made high altitude measurements of the Earth's magnetic field. Cameras mounted on Aerobee rockets returned the first high quality aerial photographs of sizeable regions of the Earth as well as large scale cloud formations.[4]: 251 

VikingEdit

 
Launch of Viking 4

Vikings 1 and 2, launched in 1949 from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, both suffered from premature engine cutoff due to turbine leaks, significantly reducing their maximum altitude.[6]: 98–102  The improved Viking 3, launched 9 February 1950 reached 50 mi (80 km) and could have gone higher. However, after 34 seconds of accurately guided flight, the rocket veered westward and had to be destroyed by range safety.[6]: 108–114 

On 10 May 1950, Viking 4 was launched from a site in the Pacific Ocean between Jarvis Island and Christmas Island. The fourth Viking became the first sounding rocket ever launched from a sea-going vessel, the USS Norton Sound. This flight was perfect, reaching 106.4 mi (171.2 km), more than double that reached by the earlier Vikings.[6]: 108–114 

Viking 5, launched 21 November 1950, carried a vast array of radiation detectors. The rocket also carried two movie cameras to take high altitude film of the Earth all the way to its peak height of 108 miles (174 km) as well as Pirani gauges to measure air densities in the upper atmosphere.[6]: 148, 236  Viking 6, launched 11 December, underperformed, reaching a maximum altitude of 40 miles (64 km).[6]: 151–153, 236 

LaunchesEdit

1942Edit

1942 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
13 June — 12 December  V-2  Peenemünde  Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test Same day Mixed
7 V-2 rockets launched on test flights, 3 successfully[12]

1943Edit

1943 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
7 January — 30 December  V-2  Peenemünde, Heidelager  Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test Same day Mixed
39 V-2 rockets launched on test flights; at least 9 failures[12]

1944Edit

1944 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
20 June  V-2  Greifswalder Oie  Wehrmacht
 MW 18014[2] Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test 20 June Successful
First artificial object to cross the Kármán line.
Vertical test, apogee: 174.6 kilometres (108.5 mi)
8 September  V-2  Houffalize  Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile attack 8 September Successful
First combat usage of V-2 after more than a hundred test flights; ~3000 combat launches followed[12] (see List of V-2 test launches)

1945Edit

1945 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2 October
13:41
 V-2  Cuxhaven  UK military
Suborbital 2 October Successful
First launch of Operation Backfire; apogee: 69.4 kilometres (43.1 mi)[13]
4 October
13:15
 V-2  Cuxhaven  UK military
Suborbital 4 October Partial failure
Apogee: 17.4 kilometres (10.8 mi) [13]
15 October
14:06
 V-2  Cuxhaven  UK military
Suborbital 15 October Successful
Press and international observers present; Apogee: 64 kilometres (40 mi)[13]

1946Edit

1946 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
16 April
21:47
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  General Electric / US Army
WSPG[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (Applied Physics Laboratory)[15] 16 April Guidance failure[14]
First launch of Project Hermes, apogee: 8 kilometres (5.0 mi)
10 May
21:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
WSPG[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (APL)[15] 10 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 112 kilometres (70 mi), First US spaceflight
29 May
21:12
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (APL)[15] 29 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 112 kilometres (70 mi)
13 June
23:40
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Solar radiation, Ionosphere (NRL)[15] 13 June Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 117 kilometres (73 mi)
28 June
19:25
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Naval Research Laboratory[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, Pressure, Temperature. Ionosphere[16]: 336–337 (V-2 NO. 6)  28 June Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)
9 July
19:25
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere (NRL), Biological (Harvard University)[16]: 338–339 (V-2 NO. 7)  9 July Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 134 kilometres (83 mi)
19 July
19:11
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Ionospheric (NRL)[15] 19 July Launch failure, explosion at 28.5 seconds[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
30 July
19:36
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Applied Physics Laboratory[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere (NRL)[16]: 342–343 (V-2 NO. 9)  30 July Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)
15 August
18:00
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Princeton University[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere[16]: 344 (V-2 NO. 10)  15 August Guidance Failure at 13.9 seconds[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
22 August
17:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
University of Michigan[14] Suborbital Pressure, Density, Ionosphere Aeronomy, Sky Brightness[15] 22 August Guidance Failure immediately after lift[14]
Project Hermes launch
10 October
18:02
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Ray, Ionosphere, Pressure-Temperature, Solar Spectroscopy, Ejection of Cosmic Ray Recording Camera[17] Selected seeds (Harvard), Cross jet attenuation transmitter & receiver[16]: 346–347 (V-2 NO. 12)  10 October Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 164 kilometres (102 mi)
24 October
19:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL[14] Suborbital Cosmic & Solar radiation, winds, photography[15] 24 October Successful, Short burning time (59 sec)[18]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi), First photo of Earth from space
7 November
20:31
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Princeton University[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation[15] 7 November Guidance Failure at 2 seconds, missile turned sideways, flew horizontal and was destroyed[16]: 350 (V-2 NO. 14) 
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 0.39 kilometres (0.24 mi)
21 November
16:55
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Watson Laboratories, University of Michigan[18] Suborbital Pressure, Temperature, Ionosphere, Sky Brightness, Voltage breakdown[16]: 351–352 (V-2 NO. 15)  21 November Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 102 kilometres (63 mi)
5 December
20:08
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Cosmic & Solar Radiation, Pressure, Temperature, Photography[15] 5 December Successful, Guidance Problems
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)
18 December
05:12
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 GRENADES APL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Meteor research, Biological (National Institute of Health)[15] 18 December Successful, extraordinary range due to guidance failure[16]: 354 (V-2 NO. 16) 
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 187 kilometres (116 mi); first night flight of V-2, released artificial meteors for photographic observation[19]

1947Edit

1947 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
10 January
21:13
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation,[15] "Daughter" Canister Release (Air Material Command)[16]: 357–358 (V-2 NO. 18)  10 January Successful, Roll at 40 seconds[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 116 kilometres (72 mi)
24 January
00:22
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Test Guidance System,[14] Hermes A-2 Telemetry System Test[16]: 359–360 (V-2 NO. 19)  24 January Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 49.88 kilometres (30.99 mi).
20 February
18:16
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom I Air Materiel Command[14] Suborbital Pressure-temperature (University of Michigan), Ionosphere (Air Force Cambridge Research Center, UoM), Sky brightness, Voltage Breakdown measurements (AFCRC), Biological rye, cotton seeds and fruit flies, first animals in space,[20] Blossom parachute recovery of canister (Cambridge Field Station)[16]: 361–362 (V-2 NO. 20)  20 February Successful, Guidance disturbance at 27 sec, Roll at 37.5 sec[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi).
7 March
18:23
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Pressure-temperature, Solar Radiation, Ionosphere (NRL), Biological rye, cotton seeds and fruit flies (Harvard)[16]: 363–365 (V-2 NO. 21)  7 March Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 161 kilometres (100 mi).
1 April
20:10
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation (APL & Yerkes Observatory), High altitude photography (Gun Sight Aiming Point camera)[16]: 366–367 (V-2 NO. 22)  1 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 129 kilometres (80 mi)
9 April
00:10
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, High altitude photography.[16]: 368–369 (V-23 NO. 20)  9 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 103 kilometres (64 mi)
17 April
23:22
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 GRENADES GE[14] Suborbital Pressure-Temperature: 9 Grenades (Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories)[16]: 370–371 (V-2 NO. 24)  17 April Successful, Roll at 57.5 seconds[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
15 May
23:08
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature grenades (SCEL), (Michigan University), Composition, Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation (NRL)[16]: 374–375 (V-2 NO. 26)  15 May Successful, Steering trouble from lift[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
29 May  V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Hermes II GE Suborbital Missile test of ramjet diffusers called "Organ"[21] 29 May Launch Failure, missile went South instead of North, landed in Mexico[22]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi), maiden flight of Hermes II
10 July
19:18
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL[14] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature, Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere, Simulant agent experiment – Camp Detrick, Indiana, seed containers in control chamber (Harvard College Observatory)[16]: 363–364 (V-2 NO. 29)  10 July Launch failure, Steering trouble from lift[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 16 kilometres (9.9 mi)
29 July
12:55
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL[14] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, High altitude photography (APL)[16]: 386–387 (V-2 NO. 30)  29 July Successful, Vane #4 ceased to operate at 27 sec[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 159 kilometres (99 mi)
6 September  V-2  USS Midway, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 10  US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 6 September Launch failure
Operation Sandy, first shipboard missile launch, apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
9 October
19:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature, Skin temperature, Composition (University of Michigan), Solar radiation (NRL)[16]: (V-2 NO. 27)  9 October Successful, Steering disturbance at 48.4 sec. Roll at 52 sec.[14]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 156 kilometres (97 mi)
18 October
07:47
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 October Partial failure
Apogee: 86 kilometres (53 mi); destroyed during ballistic portion of flight[23]
20 October
07:47
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 20 October Partial failure
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi); tore loose from launch stand; flew 180 kilometres (110 mi) left of planned target[23]
23 October
14:05
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Launch failure
Apogee: 14 kilometres (8.7 mi); payload destroyed, rocket disintegrated[23]
28 October
14:05
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 October Successful
Apogee: 87 kilometres (54 mi)[23]
31 October
13:41
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 31 October Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi); loss of control on longitudinal axis[23]
2 November
15:14
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 2 November Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[23]
3 November
12:05
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 November Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi); rolled after launch and lost stabilization[23]
4 November
15:02
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 4 November Successful
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi)[23]
10 November
09:39
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 November Launch failure
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); lost guidance[23]
13 November
08:30
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 November Successful
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi)[23]
13 November
14:00
 V-2  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 November Partial failure
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi); broke up on re-entry[23]
20 November
23:47
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE[14] Suborbital Technology development flight for GE[24] 20 November Launch failure, Propulsion trouble at 36 sec.[14]
Apogee: 21 kilometres (13 mi)
24 November
17:20
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
Applied Physics Laboratory[16]: Table I, 7.3  Suborbital 24 November Launch failure, off course, flight terminated.[25]
Apogee: 56 kilometres (35 mi)[11]
8 December
21:42
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom II AMC[14] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature (Michigan University), Skin temperature (Boston University), Solar soft X-rays,Vertical incidence ionosphere propagation, Oblique incidence ionosphere propagation, Aspect project (cameras to be lowered by parachute) (Wright Air Development Center), Sky brightness (AFCRC)[16]: 379–382 (V-2 NO. 28)  8 December Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)

1948Edit

1948 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
22 January
20:12
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital Chemical release / aeronomy 22 January Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 159 kilometres (99 mi)[12]
6 February
17:17
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE Suborbital Technology development flight for GE 6 February Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)[12]
5 March
22:51
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Chemical release 5 March Successful
Apogee: 118 kilometres (73 mi)[11]
19 March
23:10
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IIA GE Suborbital Aeronomy 19 March Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi)[12]
2 April
13:47
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
US Army Signal Corps Suborbital Aeronomy / Ionosphere / Solar UV 2 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 144 kilometres (89 mi)[12]
13 April
21:41
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Magnetic field research 13 April Successful
Apogee: 114 kilometres (71 mi)[11]
19 April
19:54
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital Solar UV / Ionosphere 19 April Guidance Failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 56 kilometres (35 mi)[12]
13 May
13:43
  Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Bumper 1 GE Suborbital Solar / Ionosphere 13 May Successful
Maiden flight of Bumper, apogee: 127.6 kilometres (79.3 mi)[26]
27 May
14:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL Suborbital Solar UV / Chemical release 27 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)[12]
11 June
10:22
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom III AMC Suborbital Biology / Ionosphere / Aeronomy 11 June Launch failure, premature valve closure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 63 kilometres (39 mi)[12]
26 July
16:47
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Imaging 26 July Successful
Apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)[11]
26 July
18:03
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL Suborbital Chemical release / Aeronomy 26 July Successful, Propulsion issues at 45.2s
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 97 kilometres (60 mi)[12]
5 August
12:07
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital UV Astronomy / Solar X-ray 5 August Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)[12]
6 August
1:37
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Aeronomy / Solar UV 6 August Successful
Apogee: 96.6 kilometres (60.0 mi)[11]
19 August
14:45
  Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Bumper 2 GE Suborbital Solar UV 19 August Launch failure
Apogee: 13.1 kilometres (8.1 mi)[26]
3 September
01:00
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 GRENADES USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 3 September Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 151 kilometres (94 mi)[12]
17 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 17 September Launch failure[27]
maiden flight of R-1[27]
30 September
15:30
  Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Bumper 3 GE Suborbital Solar UV / X-Ray 30 September Launch failure, 2nd Stage Failure
Apogee: 150.6 kilometres (93.6 mi)[26]
10 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 October Successful[27]
11 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test, sounding rocket 11 October Successful
First Soviet spaceflight with scientific experiments[27]
13 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 October Successful[27]
21 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 21 October Successful[27]
23 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Successful[27]
1 November
14:24
  Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army[26]
 Bumper 4 GE Suborbital 1 November Launch failure, tail explosion at 28.5s
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
1 November  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Successful[27]
2 November
00:12
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Cosmic radiation, solar radiation and particles 2 November Successful
Apogee: 91 kilometres (57 mi)[11]
3 November  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 November Successful[27]
4 November  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 4 November Successful[27]
5 November  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 5 November Successful
last of nine launches in the first test series[27]
18 November
22:35
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE Suborbital Ramjet research 18 November Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 145 kilometres (90 mi)[12]
9 December
16:08
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy / Solar X-Ray / Biology 9 December Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)[12]
9 December
22:38
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 9 December Successful
Apogee: 91 kilometres (57 mi)[11]

1949Edit

1949 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
14 January
20:26
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  US Army
 Hermes II US Army Suborbital Missile test 14 January Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)[28]
28 January
17:20
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital Solar x-ray / ionosphere / aeronomy / biology 28 January Launch failure
Blossom launch, apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi)[28]
29 January
06:17
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Radiation, ionospheric 29 January Successful
Apogee: 96.6 kilometres (60.0 mi)[11]
1 February
18:38
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Solar UV and X-Ray 1 February Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi)[11]
17 February
17:00
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
APL Suborbital Chemical release / Solar UV / Biology 17 February Successful
Apogee: 100.8 kilometres (62.6 mi)[28]
24 February
22:14
 Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Bumper 5 GE Suborbital Aeronomy 24 February Successful
Apogee: 393 kilometres (244 mi). The new altitude record.[26]
2 March
00:15
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Test for shipboard launch; dummy payload 2 March Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi)[11]
17 March
23:20
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  USS Norton Sound, Pacific Ocean near South America  US Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 17 March Successful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)[11]
22 March
06:43
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IVA AMC Suborbital Ionospheric 22 March Successful
Blossom IVA; apogee: 129 kilometres (80 mi)[28]
22 March
17:20
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  USS Norton Sound, Pacific Ocean near South America  US Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 22 March Successful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)[11]
24 March
15:14
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  USS Norton Sound, Pacific Ocean near South America  US Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 24 March Launch failure
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), pressure valve malfunction, booster separated on ignition[11]
11 April
22:05
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy / Solar X-Ray / Biology 11 April Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[28]
22 April
00:17
 Bumper  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Bumper 6 GE Suborbital Solar / Aeronomy 22 April Launch failure
Apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi)[26]
3 May
16:14
 Viking (first model)  White Sands LC-33 – Army Launch Area 1  US Navy
 Viking 1 NRL Suborbital Aeronomy / Imaging 3 May Partial launch failure
Apogee: 83 kilometres (52 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
5 May
15:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
GE Suborbital Technology development flight for GE / Solar 5 May Launch failure
Apogee: 8.9 kilometres (5.5 mi)[28]
7 May
03:12
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 7 May Successful
Apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi), maiden flight of R-1A,[10] tested separable warhead
10 May
15:57
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 May Successful
Tested separable warhead[10]
15 May
02:48
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 15 May Successful
Tested separable warhead[10]
16 May
21:55
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 16 May Successful
Tested separable warhead[10]
24 May
01:40
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
 FIAR-1 NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test / Aeronomy 24 May Partial Failure
Vertical flight, tested separable warhead, carried aeronomy experiments that were not recovered[10]
28 May
01:50
 R-1A  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
 FIAR-1 NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test / Aeronomy 28 May Partial Failure
Final R1-A flight – vertical flight, tested separable warhead, carried aeronomy experiments damaged on landing and returned no usable data[10]
2 June
13:10
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 2 June Successful
Apogee: 78.4 kilometres (48.7 mi)[11]
14 June
22:35
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IVB AMC Suborbital Biological, Atmospheric 14 June Successful
Apogee: 133.9 kilometres (83.2 mi), carried Albert II, first monkey in space[20][30][28]
15 June
02:03
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Ozone research 15 June Successful
Apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi)[11]
17 June
02:03
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Classified mission 17 June Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[11]
23 June
23:21
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Solar / Aeronomy 23 June Successful
Apogee: 88.5 kilometres (55.0 mi)[11]
21 July
16:01
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 21 July Successful
Apogee: 76.1 kilometres (47.3 mi)[11]
6 September
16:57
 Viking (first model)  White Sands LC-33 – Army Launch Area 1  US Navy
 Viking 2 NRL Suborbital Aeronomy / Imaging 6 September Launch failure
Apogee: 51.5 kilometres (32.0 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
10 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 September Successful[27]
First flight of second series of tests
11 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 11 September Successful[27]
13 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 September Successful[27]
14 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 14 September Successful[27]
16 September
23:19
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IVC AMC Suborbital Biological 16 September Launch failure
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), carried Albert III[28]
17 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 17 September Successful[27]
19 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 19 September Successful[27]
20 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 20 September Launch failure[27]
20 September
17:03
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 20 September Successful
Apogee: 58.6 kilometres (36.4 mi)[11]
23 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 September Launch failure[27]
25 September
11:16
 R-2E  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 25 September Successful
Maiden flight of R-2E – a modified R-1 missile to test R-2 concepts: integral fuel tank and separable warhead[31]
28 September  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 September Successful[27]
29 September
16:58
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital Ionosphere / Meteorites 29 September Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 151.1 kilometres (93.9 mi)[28]
30 September
11:49
 R-2E  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful[31]
2 October
11:00
 R-2E  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 2 October Partial failure
Fire in tail compartment[31]
3 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 October Successful[27]
6 October  V-2  White Sands LC-33  US Army
 Hermes II US Army Suborbital Missile test 6 October Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)[28]
8 October
06:05
 R-2E  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 8 October Successful[31]
8 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 8 October Successful[27]
10 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 October Successful[27]
11 October
12:45
 R-2E  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 11 October Partial failure
Fire in tail compartment, last of five R-2E launches[31]
12 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 12 October Successful[27]
13 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 October Successful[27]
13 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 October Successful[27]
15 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 15 October Successful[27]
18 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 18 October Successful[27]
19 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 19 October Successful[27]
22 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 22 October Successful[27]
23 October  R-1  Kapustin Yar  NII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Successful[27]
Last of second series of twenty firings
18 November
16:03
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 GRENADES USASC Suborbital Aeronomy / Chemical release 18 November Successful
Apogee: 124.2 kilometres (77.2 mi)[28]
2 December
22:20
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar, imaging, aeronomy 2 December Successful
Apogee: 96 kilometres (60 mi), maiden flight of the RTV-A-1[11]
6 December
18:32
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Air sampling aeronomy mission 6 December Successful
Apogee: 64.9 kilometres (40.3 mi)[11]
7 December
00:16
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Air sampling aeronomy mission 7 December Successful
Apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi)[11]
8 December
19:15
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IVD AMC Suborbital Biological 8 December Successful
Apogee: 127 kilometres (79 mi), carried Albert IV[28]
15 December
17:10
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar, imaging, aeronomy 15 December Launch failure
Apogee: 0.3 kilometres (0.19 mi)[11]

1950Edit

1950 launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
15 January
23:45
 Aerobee RTV-N-10  USS Norton Sound, Bering Sea  US Navy
Applied Physics Laboratory Suborbital Particle physics 15 January Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 72 kilometres (45 mi), maiden flight of the RTV-N-10[11]
18 January
23:17
 Aerobee RTV-N-10  USS Norton Sound, Bering Sea  US Navy
APL Suborbital Particle physics 18 January Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 80 kilometres (50 mi)[11]
9 February
21:44
 Viking (first model)  White Sands LC-33 – Army Launch Area 1  US Navy
 Viking 3 NRL Suborbital Solar / Imaging 9 February Launch failure
Veered off-course, failed to reach space, apogee: 80.5 kilometres (50.0 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
14 February
23:14
 Aerobee RTV-N-8  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Cosmic gamma Ionosphere mission 14 February Successful
Apogee: 87.6 kilometres (54.4 mi), final flight of the RTV-N-8[11]
17 February
18:00
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
NRL Suborbital Solar x-ray / Chemical release / Aeronomy 17 February Successful
Apogee: 148 kilometres (92 mi)[28]
22 February
00:54
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 22 February Successful
Apogee: 49.1 kilometres (30.5 mi)[11]
4 March
00:36
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 4 March Successful
Apogee: 72.4 kilometres (45.0 mi)[11]
14 March
20:43
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar radiation 14 March Launch failure
Apogee: 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi)[11]
26 April
01:11
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 26 April Successful
Apogee: 99.5 kilometres (61.8 mi), maiden flight of the XASR-SC-2[11]
12 May
03:08
 Viking (first model)  USS Norton Sound, Pacific Ocean, near Jarvis Island  US Navy
 Viking 4 US Navy Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 12 May Successful
Apogee: 171 kilometres (106 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
12 May
12:30
 Aerobee RTV-N-10  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Particle physics 12 May Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 88.1 kilometres (54.7 mi)[11]
26 May
19:43
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar radiation 26 May Successful
Apogee: 67.6 kilometres (42.0 mi)[11]
2 June
17:07
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Sky brightness research 2 June Successful
Apogee: 24.8 kilometres (15.4 mi)[11]
20 June
15:38
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy 20 June Successful
Apogee: 92.6 kilometres (57.5 mi)[11]
14 July
08:39
 Aerobee XASR-SC-1  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 14 July Successful
Apogee: 69.2 kilometres (43.0 mi)[11]
24 July
14:29
  Bumper  Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 3  GE / US Army
 Bumper 8 GE Suborbital Low angle speed test 24 July Launch failure
First missile launch from Cape Canaveral; apogee: 20 kilometres (12 mi)[26]
29 July
11:25
  Bumper  Cape Canaveral LC-3  GE / US Army
 Bumper 7 GE Suborbital Low angle speed test 29 July Successful
Apogee: 35.2 kilometres (21.9 mi)[26]
3 August
23:52
 Aerobee RTV-N-10  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
NRL Suborbital Solar radiation 3 August Launch failure
Apogee: 6 kilometres (3.7 mi)[11]
17 August
15:45
 Aerobee RTV-N-10  White Sands LC-35  US Navy
APL Suborbital Spectrometry 17 August Successful
Apogee: 101 kilometres (63 mi)[11]
31 August
17:09
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
 Blossom IVG AMC Suborbital Biological 31 August Successful
Apogee: 137 kilometres (85 mi), carried a mouse[28]
1 October  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Partial failure
maiden flight of R-2 prototype missile; missed target[32]
1 October  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Partial failure
missed target[32]
12 October
19:36
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Photography 12 October Successful
Apogee: 91.3 kilometres (56.7 mi)[11]
17 October
04:00
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 17 October Successful
Apogee: 80.5 kilometres (50.0 mi)[11]
18 October
04:30
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 18 October Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[11]
21 October  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 21 October Partial Failure
missed target[32]
26 October
23:02
 V-2  White Sands LC-33  GE / US Army
Ballistic Research Laboratory Suborbital Technology development for NRL 26 October Launch failure
Apogee: 8.1 kilometres (5.0 mi)[28]
27 October
13:30
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 27 October Successful
Apogee: 80.2 kilometres (49.8 mi)[11]
1 November  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 November  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 November  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 November  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 November  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
missed target[32]
2 November
16:29
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Air glow research 2 November Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[11]
9 November  V-2  White Sands LC-33  US Army
 Hermes II US Army Suborbital Missile test 9 November Partial Failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi), final flight of the Hermes II[33]
21 November
17:18
 Viking (first model)  White Sands LC-33 – Army Launch Area 1  US Navy
 Viking 5 NRL Suborbital Solar / Ionospheric 21 November Successful
Apogee: 174 kilometres (108 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
1 December  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 December  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[32]
1 December  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[32]
11 December
17:04
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 11 December Successful
Apogee: 83.9 kilometres (52.1 mi)[11]
12 December
04:06
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 12 December Successful
Apogee: 84 kilometres (52 mi)[11]
12 December
07:04
 Viking (first model)  White Sands LC-33 – Army Launch Area 1  US Navy
 Viking 6 NRL Suborbital Solar / Ionospheric 12 December Launch failure
Apogee: 64 kilometres (40 mi)[6]: 236 [29]
12 December
09:10
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 12 December Successful
Apogee: 77 kilometres (48 mi)[11]
12 December
18:26
 Aerobee RTV-A-1  Holloman LC-A  ARDC
ARDC Suborbital Aeronomy 12 December Successful
Apogee: 108.2 kilometres (67.2 mi)[11]
19 December
18:52
 Aerobee XASR-SC-2  White Sands LC-35  US Army
USASC Suborbital Aeronomy 19 December Successful
Apogee: 81.9 kilometres (50.9 mi)[11]
20 December  R-2  Kapustin Yar  OKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 20 December Partial failure
Final flight of 12 mission prototype series; missed target[32]

Suborbital launch summary (1945–1950)Edit

By countryEdit

United Kingdom: 3Soviet Union: 64United States: 120 
Launches by country
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
  United Kingdom 3 2 0 1
  Soviet Union 64 38 7 19
  United States 120 85 33 2

By rocketEdit

Launches by rocket
Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
V-2 / Hermes II   United States 59 40 18 1 Maiden flight, first US spaceflight
Bumper   United States 8 3 5 0 Maiden flight, retired
Viking (first model)   United States 6 2 3 1 Maiden flight
Aerobee RTV-N-8   United States 16 12 4 0 Maiden flight, retired
Aerobee RTV-N-10   United States 5 4 1 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee XASR-SC-1   United States 9 9 0 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee XASR-SC-2   United States 8 8 0 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee RTV-A-1   United States 9 7 2 0 Maiden flight
V-2   United Kingdom 3 2 0 1 Maiden flight, retired
V-2   Soviet Union 11 4 4 3 Maiden flight, retired
R-1   Soviet Union 30 27 3 0 Maiden flight, first Soviet spaceflight
R-1A   Soviet Union 6 4 0 2 Maiden flight, retired
R-2E   Soviet Union 5 3 0 2 Maiden flight, retired
R-2   Soviet Union 12 0 0 12 Maiden flight

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Paul Voosen (24 July 2018). "Outer space may have just gotten a bit closer". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau8822. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Louis de Gouyon Matignon. "Peenemünde and the German V-2 rockets". Space Legal Issues. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  3. ^ Dieter K. Kuzel (1962). Peenemünde to Canaveral. United States of America: Prentice Hall.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Willy Ley (June 1951). Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel. Dominion of Canada: Viking Press. OCLC 716327624.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Boris Chertok (June 2006). Rockets and People, Volume II: Creating a Rocket Industry. Washington D.C.: NASA. OCLC 946818748.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Milton W. Rosen (1955). The Viking Rocket Story. New York: Harper & Brothers. OCLC 317524549.
  7. ^ a b George Ludwig (2011). Opening Space Research. Washington D.C.: geopress. OCLC 845256256.
  8. ^ Beischer, DE; Fregly, AR (1962). "Animals and man in space. A chronology and annotated bibliography through the year 1960" (PDF). US Naval School of Aviation Medicine. ONR TR ACR-64 (AD0272581). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
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