Means of escape

During January and February of 1945, Peenemunde was being evacuated in stages as Russian forces moved ever closer. ''The Russian Army was approaching from the east,'' von Braun would later write. ''It was about 100 or 80 miles from Peenemunde so close that we could already hear the artillery fire at night. It was very obvious to me and my associates that the war was lost, and the decision whether we wanted to wind up on the East side or on the West side had to be made before the Russian Army...

Chimpanzees begin training for space flight

As Holloman biographer George Meeter explains, the AMFL's doctors and their talented assistants continued Stapp's work while America moved ever closer to sending the first human into space, and the Holloman chimpanzees would contribute greatly to that effort by helping to solve many vexing problems. Thus, as the Laboratory's human population had grown so had its animal population, at times to as many as 400 clinically observed creatures representing as many as nine species. (The largest numbers...

Sam Or The School Of Aviation Medicine

History will recall 1959 as the year in which Alaska and Hawaii became America's 49th and 50th states, the X-15 winged spacecraft made its maiden flight, the St. Lawrence Seaway was opened and Fidel Castro swept to power in Cuba. It would also prove a benchmark year for space exploration in the United States, particularly in regard to the announcement of NASA's man-in-space programme, Project Mercury. That same year the USAF School of Aviation Medicine (later renamed the School of Aerospace...

Rocket man

There was an inkling of things to come when von Braun was just 11 or 12 years old. Curious about the effects of propulsion, he strapped a cluster of gunpowder rockets to a wagon and ignited them, sending it on a perilous path along a crowded street toward Tiergarten Strasse. I was ecstatic,'' he later recalled. The wagon was wholly out of control and trailing a comet's tail of fire, but my rockets were performing beyond my wildest dreams'' 2 . A police officer soon put an end to his excitement,...

Prologue

Remarkably, in his classic 1865 book From the Earth to the Moon, French sciencefiction writer Jules Verne told of a lunar trip successfully undertaken by three men. It was a journey that would have many striking similarities to the first lunar landing by human beings more than a century later. Verne's three-man spacecraft had been named the Columbiad, while the Apollo 11 spacecraft was called Columbia. The Columbiad craft was fired towards the moon from Florida, prophetically just 120 miles...

Gordo aka Old Reliable

On the first of the flights, launched on Friday, 13 December 1958, a male South American Saimiri sciureus squirrel monkey was catapulted aloft from Cape Canaveral aboard a U.S. Army Jupiter IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile), on behalf of both the U.S. Army and Navy Medical Corps. During his training at the Navy's Aviation Medical School in Pensacola the cute, bushy-tailed monkey had been known to everyone as Old Reliable'', due to his ability to learn quickly and well. It also...

A very small unit with limited space

Ed Dittmer was one of the principals involved in building the environmental capsule that would contain the mice. Together with project officer Captain Grover Schock, he travelled to the Ramo-Woolridge plant in California, where the capsule would be manufactured, to explain exactly what was needed. As it would only be a very small unit with limited space, Dittmer went armed with a basic design for a capsule capable of carrying a mouse as well as a life environment system. The result, as Dittmer...

A sled called Sonic Wind

Working in full co-operation with the Northrop Corporation, Stapp would organise the construction of an advanced and more powerful rocket-powered sled known as Sonic Wind No. 1, which went into service with an initial test run on 24 November 1953. The sled was equipped with a water-brake system, in which a scoop attached to the sled would plunge into a series of water dams between the rails at the end of each run. Two months later, on the third test run, a chimpanzee was strapped to Sonic Wind...

A monkey gets a name

One of the brighter Holloman monkey graduates, who had proved to be an attentive and industrious worker, was chosen to make the first of these short ballistic flights. Working under the patient training and care of Dr. Wade Lynn Brown, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas since 1937, this monkey was not only good at concentrating on his tests and seemed to be unfazed by loud noises and other distractions, but was also in fine physical shape. All of the monkeys at the base were...

Contents

Authors' List of List of abbreviations and 1 Taming the rockets From wrath to The man behind the Dreams of Rocket A minimum The work Creating the Higher and Von Braun and Developing the Birth of the terror Severe setbacks and From Peenem nde to Learning the A rocket named The Resistance and the The devastation Operation A brutal Means of Death in a Berlin Beating the Russians to the spoils of A covert Operation V-2 rockets launched by the An agreement with the Working for the A close-won Sent...

Nasa And The Arpa

The compromise bill signed by President Eisenhower meant that NASA would be in overall control of space development in the United States, while the Department of Defense would remain in charge of activities peculiar to or primarily associated with development of weapons systems, military operations or defense '' 1 . The President was charged with resolving any conflicts between the civilian space agency and the defence department's space weapons unit, the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects...

Developing Vostok

Complicating matters and delaying development of the Vostok were disputes with the military over whether manned spacecraft or photo-reconnaissance satellites would get priority. However, by 1960 intensive testing of the Vostok was under way, with several flights planned for the capsule. For the staff at the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine, the challenges included developing the equipment to sustain life during an orbital flight and studying the physiological effects of orbital flight....

Info

T T T T T Y T Y T T T T 7 T T During the second series of launches, the dogs were catapulted from the nose section at different altitudes. (Illustration authors' collections) Kozyavka is readied for one of her flights in 1956. This series of flights used pressure suits like this one instead of pressurised capsules. (Photo authors' collections) fastened to a retractable tray on top of an ejection trolley. This steel trolley held the oxygen supply, parachute system, all the physiological...

Preparing dogs for space travel

The Institute of Aviation Medicine team would have a year to anticipate any surprises that orbital flight might pose for a living creature, and to train the dogs to overcome them. The laborious process of training satellite dogs proceeded in stages, initially focusing on acclimating them to confinement. The first steps proceeded through a progression of smaller and smaller capsules. The Cyclops chamber had a single observation window that trained the dogs to be under poor illumination....

From Sam to Miss

With repairs and systems overhauls effected, the earlier unsuccessful Little Joe Mercury launch was redesignated LJ-1A and finally took place on 4 November. The purpose of this second attempt was to test the escape system under the maximum dynamic pressure conditions of an Atlas flight, or at about 1,000 pounds per square foot. The Mercury spacecraft contained a pressure-sensing device that should have initiated a planned abort 30 seconds after launch, but when this system fired the escape...

References

1 Dennis Piszkiewicz, Wernher von Braun The Man Who Sold the Moon, Praeger, Westport, CT, 1998 2 Erik Bergaust, Reaching for the Stars, Doubleday, New York, I960. 3 Walter Dornberger, V2 (translated from the German edition, V2 Der Schuss ins Westall), Hurst & Blackett, London, 1954. 4 Wikipedia, on-line encyclopaedia, V-2 Rocket. Website http en.wikipedia.org wiki V2_rocket 5 Yahoo Groups, Polish Forces during World War II Operation Wildhorn III. No author given. Website 6 Janusz...

Background history of Project Corona

Corona was approved by President Eisenhower in February 1958 upon the recommendations of his senior intelligence advisors. The programme's primary aim was to take spy photographs of the Soviet Union and Sino-Soviet Bloc countries from orbit and later retrieve the film for processing and analysis. The spy satellite had been developed as a top-secret project, and its existence was not officially acknowledged until 1995. Corona had originally been proposed in the late summer of 1957 as a...

Simons departs and solutions are sought

Despite being heavily involved in the Albert project, David Simons would leave Holloman after this second primate flight. He was bound for the Air Force's School of Aerospace Medicine, where he would undertake training as a flight surgeon. From Taken from a post-flight technical report on the use of V-2 rockets to convey primates to the upper atmosphere, this historic recording of electrocardiogram and respiration data from Albert II was taken at approximately 85 miles altitude. (Courtesy D.G....

A meticulous sham

Any search of books, documents and the Internet for specific details concerning a U.S. rocket flight carrying mice into space will lead researchers to the launch of Discoverer III on 3 June 1959. These sources reveal that the flight incorporated the use of a Mark I biomedical recovery capsule occupied by four C-57 black mice. The satellite carrying this recovery capsule is also correctly recorded as failing to achieve orbital velocity due to less-than-expected thrust from the Agena second-stage...

The sad saga of the Holloman hogs

Some anaesthetised hogs would also be involved in impact tests, although these would be carried out using carriages that moved along a monorail on a horizontal ejection seat catapult. As aerospace writer Lloyd Mallan wrote of these tests An explosive charge sent the carriage flying forward to be stopped abruptly by impact with one of several heavy lead cones. Size and weight of a particular cone determined the braking power. The newly developed harness systems were used to tie the hogs upright...

Which dog would fly

The candidate finally selected was a 13-pound, 2-year-old female by the name of Kudryavka (Little Curly), who like many of the dogs serving in the canine cosmonaut corps had been a stray plucked from the streets of Moscow. Two other dogs also joined the launch team. Albina (Whitie) would serve as backup, should anything happen to Kudryavka, while Muhka (Little Fly) would be the technical dog'', used for the testing of all of the satellite equipment and life-support systems. Each of the dog...

Discoverer finally makes headway

It was not until the lift-off of Discoverer XIII on 10 August 1960 that the programme finally achieved its first fully successful mission. Because of the earlier failures, the managers decided to fly the spacecraft without a camera or film, and to instead fill it with diagnostic sensors. This time the recovery capsule was ejected on the 17th orbit, and safely plucked from the sea not by a ''catch'' aircraft but a waiting helicopter. As on previous attempts, the only significant payload it...

Conducting tests of the biopack

Space Monkey

Tests of the entire biomedical package, including a monkey, would begin at the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site in California. The animal was placed in the biopack and the couch secured before the biopack was sealed and the life-support system activated. After all the connections had been checked, the capsule was loaded onto a specially-modified C-47 aircraft and transported to the three-storey high-altitude chamber at Lockheed's Missile and Space Division in Sunnyvale, also in California....

German Rockets For Science

Meanwhile, as the United States and Russia experimented with captured V-2 rockets and biological balloon flights, a badly defeated nation had begun to re-emerge from Preparing to launch a Kumulus rocket. (Photo Deutschen Museum, Munich) the ashes of war. There had been a slow but determined revival of rocket science in Germany, mostly based on wartime technology breakthroughs, but now with peaceful and scientific purposes in mind. From 1957 to 1964, the German Rocket Society (later renamed the...

The first Corona camera

Although the programme leaders knew people might suspect that a recoverable spacecraft could carry a camera, they hoped that the small size of the spacecraft and the limited lifting capability of the rocket would make outside observers and Soviet intelligence analysts conclude that no camera could be made small enough. What few people outside of the American intelligence community knew was just how good American industry was at making powerful reconnaissance cameras. The Corona camera was...

A new and more powerful rocket

In late 1956 and early 1957 the dogs were being prepared for the next series of launches aboard a new and much more powerful rocket. The Soviet military's desire for a truly intercontinental missile was spurring the development of longer-range rockets. Enter the R-2, an intermediate-range missile. Although it still resembled the V-2 in many respects, the R-2 incorporated several new design features that gave it the power to loft payloads to twice the altitude of the R-1. The new missile was 10...

Training dogs to fly in rockets

Preparing dogs to fly in a rocket involved exposing them to the conditions they would experience during a flight. It began with confinement capsules and the patient task of training them to become used to confinement in a small space. For this, they would first be dressed in a restraining suit, composed of a knit vest and short pants of light silk, with rings attached. Chains clipped to these rings held the dog inside a small box. For periods of 1 hour, then 2 hours, then 4, the dogs were...

Losing Able

Later, Able was given a thorough post-flight physical examination at the Walter Reed facility, where a total body radiation count was conducted. Once again the monkey was found to be in excellent condition apart from several slight abrasions where her helmet had rubbed. She was then flown back to the AMRL in Fort Knox, where the implanted ECG electrode would be surgically removed in order to prevent possible infection. All that was required in the operation was a shallow, half-inch incision. On...

A monkey is chosen

After exhaustive tests a 7-pound rhesus monkey born at the Riverside Zoo Park in December 1957 was selected for the flight, although she was not the original choice as prime candidate. In an interesting diplomatic move a fully trained, Indian-born rhesus monkey chosen earlier to fly the mission was replaced 2 weeks before the launch on specific orders emanating from the White House. It seemed that President Eisenhower had been briefed on the forthcoming mission, but when he noticed the...

Space dogs move centre stage

Space Dogs

If one was looking for a hint during that summer that a dog might shortly fly into space, the signs were all there. Even as the CIA was constructing its model of the Baikonur launch facility that June and the R-7 suffered its second failed launch attempt, the Soviet Union forsook its usual secrecy. It began holding press conferences and sending news releases to the world press, ramping up publicity for the anticipated launch of the first Soviet satellite, Sputnik, as part of the IGY. Three of...

Cutting corners on Sputnik

Sputnik Blueprint

Korolev explained to his workers the expedited procedure they would follow. Engineers would make drawings and pass them along to the workers. In fact, the designers would move into the factory workshops so that designs could be handed over directly. There would be no special drawings, no organised quality control. Instead, everyone would be guided by his own conscience. It was a risky approach that called for shortcuts and corner-cutting. Since the technology did not exist for returning a...

Siberian weather and selfdestruct mechanisms

During launch, the new third stage of the rocket malfunctioned, cutting off thrust prematurely and failing to lift the capsule to orbit. Instead, the spacecraft's emergency Mushka lost her life aboard the ill-fated Korabl-Sputnik 3. (Photo courtesy of George Meyer) escape system separated the capsule at an altitude of about 133 miles as it inscribed a ballistic arc across the Soviet Union. A sour mood settled over everyone back at mission control as they assumed the capsule and its canine...

Prayers and protests for an unnamed dog

The flood of news coverage began on 4 November. Early speculation was that the dog would be catapulted from the satellite and returned to Earth. In the absence of a name for the historic canine space pioneer, some American newspapers began referring to the dog as Muttnik, a combination of ''mutt'' and ''Sputnik.'' In London, when members of the National Canine Defence League met with the first secretary of the Soviet Embassy to protest the use of the dog in the satellite, he mentioned that the...

Ready for liftoff

In the late evening hours of Thursday the 12th of December a start was made on preparing the petite, 1-pound monkey for his journey early the next morning. He was suited out with a chamois leather-lined plastic helmet made of moulded plastic compound and then strapped onto an individually-fitted silicon rubber couch. Next came a thin overlaying sheet of foam rubber with an inbuilt microphone to monitor his heartbeat. A thermistor - a semiconductor resistor device used in the measurement Jupiter...

A unique proposal

Henry's department was approached by a parachute specialist from a laboratory also based at Wright Field. He had a rather unusual proposition. His group had been working on a project for the Cambridge Field Station, aimed at the development of electronic and photographic equipment for gathering information on the physics of the upper atmosphere. One of the laboratory's specific tasks was to design and manufacture parachutes of sufficient strength to permit the safe recovery...

The rocket sled bears

Even black bears, four of which first appeared at Holloman in late 1957, were used in Daisy Track test runs, as their pelvic region is very similar to that of humans. But - like the hog tests - these were more related to automobile crash restraint systems, according to Bushnell, seeking correlation between spinal injury in bears and humans'' 25 . The first use of a bear in a 20-g Daisy Track run would attract some unfavourable publicity when, following the run in which the animal showed no...

The first R2A dogs

As the year 1957 dawned, the first satellite dog'' flight, of Laika in Sputnik 2, was less than a year away. However, as hugely as that event unexpectedly loomed for the West, and as clear a demarcation it represented in the relentless progress of space flight, it would barely register on the radar of those involved in the dog flight programme. A full schedule of suborbital flights preceded Sputnik 2 in 1957, and an equally robust schedule would follow it for nearly three more years. For the...

Flight preparations

Following the October decision to launch Sputnik 2, the preparation of Laika and Albina had to begin immediately, as the necessary medical procedures required a 10-day healing period. Since neither dog nor capsule would be recovered, physiological reactions had to be read by instruments and radioed to the ground. One of the trickiest vitals to record was blood pressure. To constantly monitor this function, the carotid artery had to be drawn out of the dog's neck and sewn into a flap of skin. A...

Sally Amy And

Like their rodent cousins in the highly-classified Project Discoverer, a trio of C-57 mice also achieved a successful space flight late in 1960. On 13 October, three black mice named Sally, Amy and Moe were installed in a heavily-shielded General Electric experimental re-entry vehicle known as the RVX-2A, mounted atop an Atlas-D rocket at Cape Canaveral's Atlantic Missile Range. Specially trained for this mission by the USAF School of Aviation Medicine hence the trio of names beginning with the...

Severe setbacks and relocation

Meillerwagen

Just as the Peenemunde team had begun to taste success, the Allies identified the launch facility as a priority target. On the evening of 17 18 August they sent in heavy bombers to flatten the launch centre. Under a full moon, 596 aircraft of Bomber Command dropped nearly 1,600 tons of bombs on the experimental factory at Peenemunde, following up with another heavy bomber raid on 25 August. The factory production of the V-2 was quickly relocated to a secret underground plant at Mittelwerk, near...

Animal research continues

While a chimpanzee would be the first to ride the Daisy Track and Ed Dittmer stressed there would always be a veterinarian present on the animal runs , the first human passenger was task scientist Lieutenant Wilbur Blount, who completed a run on 17 February 1956. By September the following year over 200 high-speed journeys had been made along the track, carrying humans, animals and mannequins. Thirteen months later, in October 1958, that number was nearing 400. Captain Eli Beeding would...

Rm 2d

Copyright Arwrzcj Koiartw, 2005 andr7ej i K3iti3 p lt 7ia oner pi RM-2D Polish rocket. Illustration Andrzej Kotarba Two launches were scheduled for 10 April 1961 from portable, makeshift gantries in the Bledowska Desert. The first, using RM-2C, would have a flashing electronic light attached, while the second would carry two mice in a specially-designed container as well as a parachute recovery system. The container and parachute pack would add a further 9 pounds of payload to the vehicle,...

Malashenkov Dimitri Some Unknown Pages Of The Living Organism S First Orbital Flight International Astronautical

Bissell, Jr., with Jonathan E. Lewis and Frances T. Pudlo, Reflections of a Cold Warrior From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996, p. 119. 2 Asif A. Siddiqi, Korolev, Sputnik, and The International Geophysical Year, NASA History Office. Website accessed 8 March 2005. 3 John Rhea ed. , Roads to Space, An Oral History of the Soviet Space Programme, compiled by the Russian Scientific Research Centre for Space Documentation, translated by Peter Berlin,...

Miss Baker

Monkey Baker Space

Able's flight companion, Baker, was a tiny South American squirrel monkey, originally born in Iquitos in the Peruvian jungle sometime during 1958, but captured by hunters and brought to the United States. She weighed in at just 11 ounces. Together with 25 young spider monkeys purchased from a pet shop in Miami, she had been transported to the U.S. Navy Aviation Medical School in Pensacola, Florida. As the monkeys would have to fly in very confined capsules, they underwent extensive training in...

Ivan Ivanovich flies

Hector Und Felicette Weltall

For final confirmation of the capsule's systems, two more preliminary launches were scheduled, each planned for a single orbit and each carrying a single dog, a large payload of biological specimens and a life-sized mannequin cosmonaut, christened Ivan Ivanovich. The mannequin would be dressed in the same SK-1 pressure suit to be worn by the first cosmonaut. The first of these flights, Korabl-Sputnik 4, was launched on 9 March 1961, carrying the dog Chernushka, along with 40 black and 40 white...

Pchelka and Mushka

Pchelka Space

Accompanying the dogs Pchelka and Mushka on this flight would be a menagerie of living specimens, including guinea pigs, rats, mice and fruit flies, plus plants and other biological experiments. Different strains of mice and fruit flies were used to study the effects of cosmic radiation. Fruit fly varieties included those prone to both high and low mutation, with some to be shielded by lead and some not. As with KS-2, television cameras on KS-3 recorded the behaviour of the dogs during the...

First to volunteer

Murphy Rocket Sled

Eventually, the Headquarters of the Air Research and Development Command gave approval for human test runs to proceed at Holloman, and Stapp made all the necessary preparations. As he stated at the outset of his sled run experiments, he was desperate to find out What causes some men to die and others to survive crashes that occur under similar circumstances and with similar gravity impacts,'' and to uncover reasons for this apparent contradiction. It would also help in the development of more...

Able and Baker lead the way

1958 was a truly momentous year in the history of space exploration. Within the confines of those 12 months, America's first satellite, Explorer 1, was launched into orbit, while Russia retaliated by lobbing up a massive space laboratory known as Sputnik 3. On 2 April that year President Eisenhower had placed a proposal before Congress, calling for the creation of a civilian space agency to be known as NASA -the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A compromise bill was approved and...

Tsygan and Dezik lead the way

As 22 July approached, the day of the first launch, Yazdovskiy finally settled on the two dogs to make the historic flight Tsygan and Dezik, who had both demonstrated calmness and endurance through all the tests'' 7 . Along with Yazdovskiy's team, the dogs were shipped off to the launch site at Kapustin Yar. The Kapustin Yar site had been selected for its remoteness and certainly not for the amenities it offered the resident workers and VIP guests come to watch a launch. Return with victory the...

The chimps and Project Whoosh

Related work was continuing elsewhere. According to the NASA History Office, one Air Force research programme involving Holloman chimpanzees was known as Project Whoosh, which aimed to evaluate escape from a high speed aircraft at approximately Mach 2'' 18 . This involved strapping an anaesthetised chimpanzee into an open ejection seat, which was then secured inside a specially-modified Cherokee missile. The missile would then be carried aloft beneath the belly of a modified Boeing B-29...

Sent to the steppes

Meanwhile, in the last months of the war, the Soviet Union had been equally eager to appropriate German personnel and technology for their own purposes. Soviet trophy battalions combed through a ruined Germany in search of industrial equipment and materials. When Soviet forces captured the German rocket facility at Peenemunde in May 1945, they were discouraged by how thoroughly the Allies had cleared it of materials and personnel. However, in quick succession, they uncovered the underground...

Creating a Bioflight capsule

The heated Bioflight 1 capsule into which the prime candidate Old Reliable would be inserted and launched into space had been developed and tested at the School of Aviation Medicine, together with design assistance provided by the Army's Ballistic Missile Agency. The tapered, 292-pound fully-instrumented capsule, custom-built to contain Old Reliable's cylindrical container, was precisely manufactured to fit into the bottom section of the nose cone to allow for easy access. Covered with...

Figures

USAF monkey Sam Space, School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph AFB xxix Jules Verne's intrepid space explorers, US Library of Chimpanzees in training at Holloman AFB, USAF, NM Museum of Space History xlvi French space monkey Martine, Dr. G. Chatelier, Space dog Malyshka, authors' Laika, authors' German rocket pioneers in 1930, V-2 launch from Peenem nde, U.S. V-2 mock-up on a meillerwagen transporter, U.S. V-2 destruction in Antwerp, Belgium, A-4 V-2 Resource Von Braun with broken arm, U.S. V-2...

Acknowledgements

There are numerous people and organisations to whom we owe sincere thanks for their participation in this book. Some came to us unexpectedly, others responded to appeals for help on a number of online space forums, while still more readily replied to specific enquiries. A mere listing of names can in no way suggest our heartfelt gratitude towards these individuals. Without their interest and cooperation it would have been difficult, if not impossible at times, to collect, transcribe, organise...

From Research Rockets to the Space Shuttle

Mr Colin Burgess, BIS Bonnet Bay New South Wales Australia Mr Chris Dubbs Edinboro Pennsylvania USA SPRINGER-PRAXIS BOOKS IN SPACE EXPLORATION SUBJECT ADVISORY EDITOR John Mason, M.Sc., B.Sc., Ph.D. ISBN 10 0-387-36053-0 Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York Springer is part of Springer-Science Business Media springer.com Library of Congress Control Number 2006937358 Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the...