• Short Summary

    AFTER MONTHS OF FRUSTRATING DELAYS, THE MAIDEN TEST FLIGHT OF THE GIANT TWO-STAGE "CENTAUR", THE NEWEST AND MOST REVOLUTIONARY AMERICAN SPACE ROCKET, ENDED WITH A SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION JUST SIXTY-SECONDS AFTER LIFT-OFF FROM A PAD AT CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, MAY 8.

  • Description

    AFTER MONTHS OF FRUSTRATING DELAYS, THE MAIDEN TEST FLIGHT OF THE GIANT TWO-STAGE "CENTAUR", THE NEWEST AND MOST REVOLUTIONARY AMERICAN SPACE ROCKET, ENDED WITH A SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION JUST SIXTY-SECONDS AFTER LIFT-OFF FROM A PAD AT CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, MAY 8.

    THE 105-FEET HIGH ROCKET WAS THE UNITED STATES' FIRST ATTEMPT TO HARNESS THE IMMENSE POWER OF LIQUID HYDROGEN AS A FUEL. IT LIFTED OFF CLEANLY AND APPEARED TO BE FOLLOWING ITS SCHEDULED COURSE, BUT WHEN ONLY SEVERAL THOUSAND FEET UP IT EXPLODED IN A HUGE MUSHROOM OF FLAME - EVEN BEFORE THE TWO LIQUID HYDROGEN ENGINES IN THE SECOND STAGE WERE DUE TO IGNITE. THE FUEL BURNED QUICKLY, LEAVING A CHUNK OF FLAMING METAL WHICH PLUMMETED TO EARTH.

    "CENTAUR" - THE FIRST STAGE OF WHICH CONSISTED OF A MODIFIED "ATLAS" MISSILE-IS CAPABLE OF PLACING 8,500 POUND SATELLITES IN ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH, LANDING 2,300 POUNDS ON THE MOON, OR HURLING 1,300 POUNDS TO MARS OR VENUS. THE MAY 8 TEST FLIGHT WAS SCHEDULED TO LAST ONLY 15-MINUTES, AND WAS DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY TO PROVIDE FLIGHT DATA ON HOW LIQUID HYDROGEN WOULD BEHAVE IN SPACE. THIS SUPER-COLD FUEL, WHICH MUST BE KEPT AT A TEMPERATURE OF 423-DEGREES BELOW ZERO, PROVIDES A 40 PER-CENT BETTER PERFORMANCE THAN CHEMICAL FUELS EMPLOYED IN PRESENT ROCKET ENGINES.

    AMERICAN SPACE SCIENTISTS, WHO ADMITTED PREVIOUSLY THAT THEY DID NOT EXPECT A PERFECT FLIGHT ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT, ARE NOW INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT, BUT HAVE EXPRESSED THEMSELVES COMPARATIVELY HAPPY WITH INFORMATION SIGNALLED BACK IN THE SECONDS THAT "CENTAUR" WAS SOARING ALOFT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA448XFKOD5AV0HSLVA7SD8AKF8
    Media URN:
    VLVA448XFKOD5AV0HSLVA7SD8AKF8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    09/05/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:00:45:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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