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Redstone Missiles and Rocket Launchers

Redstone Rockets

Based on German V-2 technology, the Redstone missile was the U. S. Army's first medium range ballistic missile. Produced by Chrysler, the Redstone missile first flew in 1955. Production missiles were flying in 1956, with the first missiles reaching operational status in Germany during 1958. The Redstone had a short service life, being replaced by the Pershing missile by 1964. In total, Chrysler produces around 120 missiles.

Redstone missiles played an important role in the early years of the space race. Modified Redstone rocket technology flew as both Jupiter-C and Mercury-Redstone space launchers.

Redstone ballistic missile illustration Jupiter-C rocket illustration Mercury Redstone rocket illustration 1.8 Meter Human Figure

Left to right: Redstone Ballistic Missile, Jupiter-C, Mercury-Redstone, Human figure for scale (1.8m tall).

 

Redstone Ballistic Missile

Redstone at the US Space and Rocket Center

Army Redstone Ballistic Missile at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (Photos: Richard Kruse, 2007)

Redstone missile Redstone missile side Redstone missile photo Redstone missile aft Redstone launch base 1 Redstone launch base 2 Redstone launch base 3 Redstone launch base 4
 

Redstone at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2009)

Redstone missile Redstone missile Redstone missile Redstone missile

Jupiter-C

The Jupiter-C first flew in 1956. The Jupiter-C was comprised of a Redstone first stage combined with several solid rocket motors serving as upper stages. On 31JAN1958, Juno 1 (A Jupiter-C with an added 4th stage) launched America's first successful Earth orbiting satellite, Explorer 1.

Jupiter-C at the US Space and Rocket Center

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2007)

Jupiter-C rocket Jupiter-C rocket side Jupiter-C rocket base Jupiter-C rocket fins Jupiter-C rocket vanes
 

Jupiter-C at the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2009)

Jupiter-C rocket Jupiter-C rocket Jupiter-C rocket base Jupiter-C rocket base

Mercury-Redstone

The first successful Mercury-Redstone rocket flew on 19DEC1960. The rocket was used to launch Mercury capsules on suborbital trajectories into space. On 5MAY1961, a Mercury-Redstone launched America's first astronaut, Alan Sheppard, into space. On 21JUL1961, another Mercury-Redstone launched Virgil Gus Grissom into space.

Mercury-Redstone at the US Space and Rocket Center

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2007)

Mercury-Redstone and launch escape system Mercury-Redstone rocket Mercury-Redstone rocket bottom half Mercury-Redstone rocket launch platform Mercury-Redstone rocket fins
 

Mercury-Redstone at the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2009)

Mercury-Redstone Mercury-Redstone Mercury-Redstone

Redstone Engines

Redstone engine on display at the Michigan Space and Science Center

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2002)

Redstone Rocket Redstone Rocket Redstone Rocket Redstone Rocket
 

Redstone engine on display at the Michigan Space Science Center

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2008)

Redstone Motor at Michigan Space Science Center Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor
 

Redstone engine on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2008)

Redstone Motor overview Redstone Motor thrust chamber Redstone Motor side detail Redstone Motor fuel pumps Redstone Motor side view
 

Redstone engine on display at the United States Space and Rocket Center

(Photos: Richard Kruse, 2007)

Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor Redstone Motor
Redstone Family of Rockets
VersionFirst
Flight
1Redstone TBM
(Tactical Ballistic Missile)
1953Drawing of Redstone Rockets
2Juno 1
(Jupiter C)
1958
3Mercury-Redstone 1961
Creative Commons License Images by Richard Kruse are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Books About Project Mercury


This New Ocean

This New Ocean:
A History of Project Mercury

Project Mercury Pocket Space Guide

Project Mercury
Pocket Space Guide
By Steve Whitfield.

Project Mercury

Project Mercury:
NASA's First Manned Space Programme
By John Catchpole.

Almost Astronauts

Almost Astronauts:
13 Women Who Dared to Dream
By Tanya Lee Stone.

The Mercury 13

The Mercury 13:
The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight
By Martha Ackmann.

Project Mercury Models


Project Mercury Model

1/12 Project Mercury
Academy Models

Mercury Capsule Model

Mercury Capsule - Signed Model
by Daron