The Redstone Rocket

The Redstone is a United States Army surface-to-sur­face missile that is designed
to supplement artillery cannon. It can be equipped with either a nuclear or
high-explosive warhead.

This missile is propelled by a 78,000-pound-thrust liquid-fuel engine that gives
it a range of 200 miles. It is 70 feet long, 51/2 feet in diameter, and weighs
62,-000 pounds. Top speed is 3800 miles per hour.

The Redstone can be transported by air, rail, or truck and assembled in the field.
It is fired from a portable launcher.

This rocket served as the first stage of the space vehicles that launched Explorer
I— the first United States satellite— Explorer III, and Explorer IV. The Redstone
will also be used to carry our Mercury astro­nauts on short test flights into
space prior to the launch­ing which will send one of them into orbit around the

On January 31, 1961, a souped-up version of this highly reliable rocket shot a
Project Mercury capsule, with a 371/2 -pound chimpanzee named Ham aboard,155 miles
into space and 420 miles out over the Atlantic Ocean at a speed of 5,000 miles
per hour. Ham’s trip was hailed as a big step toward manned space flights.