Encyclopedia Astronautica
Early Rocketry


Category of launch vehicles.

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Tsiolkovsky Russian orbital launch vehicle. Tsiolkovsky was the first to propose the use of liquid hydrogen and oxygen to propel a rocket, and calculated its performance using the crucial rocket equation V = c ln(Mo/ Me). More...
  • GIRD-09 Russian sounding rocket. The first rocket successfully launched by the Soviet GIRD organisation was a hybrid, using a liquid oxygen to burn gelled petroleum in large casing. Development of the rocket was begun by GIRD's second brigade under M K Tikhonravov. More...
  • Goddard Robert H. Goddard was the father of American rocketry. In a series of rockets flown between World War I and World War II, he solved all of the fundamental problems of guided liquid propellant rockets. More...
  • Goddard 1 American test vehicle. Rocket used by Goddard to achieve the first flight of a liquid-propellant rocket. More...
  • Goddard 2 American test vehicle. After several tests indicating the model was too small to permit refinements, Goddard decided to build a rocket twenty-fold larger. During 1926 a new tower was built, and flow regulators, multiple liquid injection into large combustion chambers, means for measurement of pressure and lifting force, electrically fired igniter, and turntable for rotation were developed. More...
  • Goddard 3 American test vehicle. First instrumented liquid fuel rocket. Length 11 ft 6 in.; maximum diameter 26 in.; weight 32 lb; gasoline 14 lb; liquid oxygen 11 lb; total loaded weight 57 lb. More...
  • ARS The ARS-2 was an improvement by the American Interplanetary Socity of the German Mirak design. It used liquid oxygen and gasoline propellants, and was successfully launched on 14 May 1933. Successive rockets refined the design. More...
  • Goddard 4 American test vehicle. Goddard rocket using pressure-fed Lox/Gasoline propellants, streamline casing, and remote control guidance. Masses varied; typical values indicated. More...
  • Swan American rocketplane. William G. Swan stayed aloft for 30 minutes over Atlantic City, N.J., in a glider powered with 10 small rockets. More...
  • GIRD-10 Russian sounding rocket. The first liquid propellant rocket launched in the Soviet Union, the GIRD-10 used liquid oxygen and alcohol propellants, pressure-fed to the combustion chamber by nitrogen gas. More...
  • Goddard A American test vehicle. The A series rockets used simple pressure feed, gyroscopic control by means of vanes, and parachute. The rockets in this series averaged in length from 4.11 m to 4.65 m.; their weight empty varied from 26 kg to 39 kg. More...
  • Goddard K American test vehicle. This consisted of ten proving-stand tests for the development of a more powerful motor, 10 in. in diameter. Weight of rocket, about 225 lb; weight of fuels, 50-70 lb for the series. More...
  • Goddard L-A American test vehicle. Tests of the Goddard L Section A covered development of a nitrogen-pressured flight rocket using 10 in, motors based on the K series and ran from May 11 to November 7, 1936 (L1-L7). Length of the L Series Section A rockets varied from 10 ft 11 in, to 13 ft 6 1/2 in.; diameter 18 in.; empty weight 120 to 202 lb; loaded weight 295 to 360 lb; weight oxygen about 78 lb; weight gasoline 84 lb; weight nitrogen, 4 lb. More...
  • Goddard L-B American test vehicle. The L-B series were check tests of 5.75-in.-diameter chambers with fuels of various volatilities; development of tilting cap parachute release; tests of various forms of exposed movable air vanes; test of retractable air vanes and parachute with heavy shroud lines. The series ran from November 24, 1930-May 19, 1937 (L8-L15). Final results of Section B of L Series showed two proving-stand tests, and six flight test attempts, all of which resulted in flights. Average interval between tests 22 days. More...
  • Goddard L-C American test vehicle. Series L Section C rockets included light tank construction, movable-tailpiece (i.e. gimbal) steering, catapult launching, and further development of liquid nitrogen tank pressure method. Lengths varied from 17 ft 4.25 in. to 18 ft 5.75 in.; diameter 9 in., weight empty varied from 80 to 109 lb; loaded weight about 170 lb or more; lift of static tests varied from 228 lb to 477 lb; jet velocities from 3960 to 5340 ft/sec. More...
  • JATO American sounding rocket. JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) rockets came in many types and were used to shorten the takeoff of aircraft in short field or overload conditions. They were among the first practical applications of rocketry, and much early development of rocket technology by JPL, Aerojet, Goddard, and others was devoted to JATO applications. More...
  • Goddard P-C American test vehicle. Section C tests would run through October 10, 1941 and represent the final Goddard rocket flight tests. The series of twenty-four static and flight tests (P13-P36) was made with rockets of large fuel capacity, with the rocket motor, pumps, and turbines previously developed. These rockets averaged nearly 22 ft in length, and were 18 in, in diameter. They weighed empty from 190 to 240 lb. The liquid-oxygen load averaged about 140 lb, the gasoline 112 lb, making "quarter-ton" loaded rockets. More...
  • RDD Russian tactical ballistic missile. The RDD - Long range rocket - was assigned to Korolev in November 1944 in response to the German V-2. Korolev was given charge of a team of 60 engineers and required to provide a draft project in three days. The resulting two-stage design used Lox/Alcohol propellants and an autopilot for guidance. It was proposed that a 5 tonne thrust rocket, 110 mm in diameter, would be available by 1945. A 250 tonne thrust, solid fuelled, 280 mm diameter, 4 m long rocket would be ready by 1949. These designs evolved into the more refined D-1 and D-2 before being overtaken by the post-war availability of V-2 technology. More...
  • Private American test vehicle. At request of Army Ordnance, Cal Tech's rocket laboratory developed the first US long-range missiles. Project ORDCIT resulted in development of the Private A and Corporal missiles. At Camp Irwin, Calif., 24 Private A rockets were launched by JPL, only 11 months after the start of Project ORDCIT. This rocket technology that led to later operational Corporal and Sergeant missiles. More...
  • D-1 Russian tactical ballistic missile. Korolev design for a 'long range' rocket prior to orders to copy the V-2. The 1000 kg rocket would have a range of 32 km. Wingspan 1.0 m; 370 kg propellants; minimum range 12..8 km; maximum velocity 854 m/s; maximum altitude 12.5 km. More...
  • D-2 Russian tactical ballistic missile. Korolev design for a 'long range' rocket prior to orders to copy the V-2. Extended-range winged version of the D-1. The 1200 kg rocket would have a range of 76 km. Wingspan 1.5 m; 370 kg propellants; minimum range 20 km; maximum velocity 628 m/s; maximum altitude 10.7 km. More...
  • EA 1941 First French liquid fuel rocket. Developed in the 1931-1942, tested in 1945. More...
  • Eole French test vehicle. Second missile developed by Jean-Jacques Barre and end of that lineage. More...

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