The United States' third "lunar probe" moon rocket failed November 8 after a dramatic 45-minute flight.
The United States' third "lunar probe" moon rocket failed November 8 after a dramatic 45-minute flight. The third stage failed to ignite when the rocket, travelling at about 16,000 miles an hour, was 1,000 miles up.
The rocket burned up on e-entering the atmosphere over East Central Africa - 7,500 miles away.
The launching of the 80-foot rocket was made soon after dawn. The rocket was the third to be fired by the U.S. Airforce. The next two under Army direction were expected to be made December and January.
As zero hour approached at the Cape excitement rose among the technicians around the gleaming whit rocket.
Stencilled on its side was a line from Tennyson: "After it, follow it, follow the gleam."- a directive to the rocket to chase its target 221,000 miles away. There was a dramatic countdown. Then, the rocket, christened Pioneer II was fired.
The Cape was lit up by the fiery exhaust which was visible for 30 seconds. Its roar could still be heard after the rocket had risen out of sight.
The same day, the U.S. announced it was preparing to fire space probe vehicles to Mars and Venus.