Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC5


Redstone, Jupiter launch complex. Pad 5 supported its first Jupiter A launch on 19 July 1956. In addition to Redstone and Jupiter launches, the complex supported Explorer and Pioneer missions and all six Redstone /Mercury suborbital flights. On 31 January 1964, Complexes 5 and 6 were reassigned to become part of the USAF Space Museum.

Longitude: -80.5733 deg.
Latitude: 28.4394 deg.
First Launch: 1956.07.19.
Last Launch: 1961.07.21.
Number: 23 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Explorer A American earth magnetosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1958.02.01 (Explorer 1) to 1958.03.26 (Explorer 3). Discovered Van Allen radiation belts. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space. More...
  • Explorer B American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1958.07.26, Explorer 4. Mapped project Argus radiation. More...
  • Explorer C American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1958.08.24, Explorer 5. More...
  • Beacon 1 American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1958.10.23 (Beacon 1) and 1959.08.15 (Beacon 2). More...
  • Pioneer 3-4 American lunar flyby probe. 2 launches, 1958.12.06 (Pioneer 3) to 1959.03.03 (Pioneer 4). Smaller than the previous Pioneers, Pioneer 3 and 4 each carried only a single experiment to detect cosmic radiation. More...
  • Mercury American manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1960.01.21 (Mercury LJ-1B) to 1963.05.15 (Mercury MA-9). America's first man-in-space project. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the orbital payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas. More...
  • S-1 American earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1959.07.16 (Explorer) to 1959.10.13 (Explorer 7). Magnetic field, solar flare data. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Redstone Redstone was the first large liquid rocket developed in the US using German V-2 technology. Originally designated Hermes C. Redstones later launched the first US satellite and the first American astronaut into space. More...
  • Jupiter A American orbital launch vehicle. The Jupiter A was a modified Redstone missile fitted with Jupiter inertial navigation and control system elements. It also tested Hydyne fuel and other engine modifications for the Jupiter C re-entry vehicle test booster. More...
  • Jupiter C American orbital launch vehicle. Re-entry vehicle test booster and satellite launcher derived from Redstone missile. The Jupiter A version of the Redstone missile was modified with upper stages to test Jupiter re-entry vehicle configurations. Von Braun's team was ordered to ballast the upper stage with sand to prevent any 'inadvertent' artificial satellites from stealing thunder from the official Vanguard program. Korolev's R-7 orbited the first earth satellite instead. The Jupiter C was retroactively named the 'Juno I' by Von Braun's team. More...
  • Jupiter American intermediate range ballistic missile. The Jupiter IRBM was developed for the US Army. By the time development was complete, the mission and the missile was assigned to the US Air Force, which had its own nearly identical missile, the Thor. Jupiters were stationed in Turkey and Italy in the early 1960's, but withdrawn in secret exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet R-5 missiles from Cuba. The Jupiter was used as the first stage of the relatively unsuccessful Juno II launch vehicle, and proposed for the Juno III and Juno IV. Jupiter tooling and engines were used to build the much larger Juno V / Saturn I launch vehicle. More...
  • Juno II American orbital launch vehicle. Satellite launcher derived from Jupiter IRBM. Basic 4 stage vehicle consisted of 1 x Jupiter + 1 x Cluster stage 2 + 1 x Cluster stage 3 + 1 x RTV Motor More...
  • Redstone MRLV American suborbital launch vehicle. Greatly modified Redstone rocket used to launch the Mercury manned spacecraft on a suborbital trajectory, typically 380 km downrange, 220 km altitude, and a speed of 6800 kph. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Cape Canaveral LC5 Chronology


1956 July 19 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. LV Configuration: Jupiter A CC-13. FAILURE: ST-80 malfunction at theta switch operation - 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Summary: CC-13 was launched at 0345 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 142.457 nm; .780 nm over the intended impact point. This was the first Chrysler fabricated and assembled missile. Missed aimpoint by 1,071 m..

1956 September 20 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C RS-27. FAILURE: Early cut-off due to human error in tanking ..
  • Jupiter C re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 1,097 km (681 mi). First Jupiter C (a three-stage ABMA-JPL Redstone missile) was launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., attained an altitude of 1096 km and traveled 5,300 km downrange. The first three-stage re-entry missile, was fired at 0145 hours EST from AMR. This missile attained an estimated range of 3,335 ST miles, an altitude of 682 ST miles, and reached Mach 18 velocity. The primary objective of the firing was the propulsion and separation tart of a multi-stage vehicle. The missile was a four-stage configuration with the last stage inactive. The first stage was an elongated Redstone missile, the second and third stages were up of 11 and 3 six-inch scaled SERGEANT rockets, respectively. The payload consisted of approximately 20 pounds of instrumentation attached to the inactive fourth stage. The flight was successful and the sequence of operations occurred as programmed. This vehicle could have obtained sufficient velocity to place it in orbit, if the last stage had been activated. First deep penetration of space. Serial number coding for early Redstones and related vehicles used the following substitution cipher: 1234567890 = HUNTSVILLEX

1957 March 1 - . 21:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-1A. FAILURE: Missile break-up attributed to overheating in the tail section.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). The first Jupiter flight was fired at 1651 hours EST from AMR. The missile achieved a 48,000 foot altitude. Flight terminated at 7.4 seconds because of missile break-up. Failure was attributed to overheating in the tail section. The trajectory to this point was as predicted.

1957 April 26 - . 20:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-1B. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Summary: Fired from AMR at 1512 hours EST to test the design version of the airframe and rocket engine. The flight terminated at 93 seconds because of propellant slosh. The missile achieved an altitude of 60,000 feet. The flight was partially successful..

1957 May 31 - . 18:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Army Jupiter IRBM was fired 1,500 miles, limit of its designed range, and to an altitude of 250-300 miles, the first successful launching of an IRBM. Fired from AMR at 1308 hours EST to test the range capability and performance of rocket engine and control system. Although the missile was 253 nm short of its estimated 1,400 nm impact point, this was the first successful flight of the Jupiter. All phases of the test were successful during this first firing of the IRBM in the western world

1958 March 26 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS-24.
  • Explorer 3 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: USA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1958-06-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 6 . COSPAR: 1958-Gamma-1. Apogee: 2,799 km (1,739 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 115.70 min. Summary: Radiation, micrometeoroid data. .

1958 May 17 - . 00:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. LV Configuration: Redstone RS-1002.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Summary: Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 578 m..

1958 July 26 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-44.
  • Explorer 4 - . Payload: Explorer B. Mass: 8.00 kg (17.60 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer B. Decay Date: 1959-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 9 . COSPAR: 1958-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 1,352 km (840 mi). Perigee: 257 km (159 mi). Inclination: 50.2000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Mapped project Argus radiation. .

1958 August 24 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-47. FAILURE: First Stage collided with upper stages. Second Stage ignited in wrong direction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Explorer 5 - . Payload: Explorer C. Mass: 17 kg (37 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Explorer C. Decay Date: 1958-08-24 . COSPAR: F580824A.

1958 October 23 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-49. FAILURE: Upper stages separated prior to burnout. Structural failure after 149 sec due to vibration disturbances generated by the spinning payload.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Beacon 1 - . Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon 1. Decay Date: 1958-10-22 . COSPAR: F581023A. NASA¾with the Army as executive agent¾attempted to launch a 12-foot-diameter inflatable satellite of micro-thin plastic covered with aluminum foil known as BEACON. Launched from AMR by a Juno I¾a modified Redstone, the payload prematurely separated prior to booster burnout.

1958 December 6 - . 05:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-11. FAILURE: First Stage shut down too early. Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pioneer 3 - . Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 3-4. Decay Date: 1958-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 111 . COSPAR: 1958-Theta-1. Failed to reach moon; provided radiation data. Pioneer III, the third U.S.-IGY intended lunar probe under the direction of NASA with the Army acting as executive agent, was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range by a Juno II rocket. The primary objective, to place the 12.95 pound scientific payload in the vicinity of the moon, failed. Pioneer III reached an altitude of approximately 70,000 miles and revealed that the earth's radiation belt comprised at least two distinct bands.

1959 January 22 - . 00:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-21.
  • Tactical test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Tactical Test. The first Chrysler production qualification missile was fired from AMR at 1910 hours EST. The nose cone impacted in the pre-selected target area at a range of 1,302 nm. Miss distance was 3 nm over and 1 nm to the left of the target. The overshoot was caused by failure of the vernier engine to cut off high resistance of the squib firing circuit. Primary missions were successfully accomplished.

1959 March 3 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-14.
  • Pioneer 4 - . Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 3-4. USAF Sat Cat: 113 . COSPAR: 1959-Nu-1. The fourth U.S.-IGY lunar probe effort, Pioneer IV, a joint project of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the direction of NASA, was launched by a Juno II rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range. Intended to impact on the lunar surface, Pioneer IV achieved earth-moon trajectory, passing within 60,200 km of the moon before going into permanent orbit around the sun.

1959 May 14 - . 05:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-17.
  • Research and development test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 0052 hours EST to test impact accuracy. This shot may be considered as having hit the target. The impact was: .26 nm over and 0.4 nm to the left of the predicted point of impact. Accuracy of the MILS Network was approximated at plus-or-minus 0.25 nm. All primary and secondary missions were accomplished except for photographic recording of the second separation. This could not be accomplished because of the firing date.

1959 July 16 - . 17:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-16. FAILURE: Control lost after 5.5 sec. Destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Explorer S-1 - . Payload: S-1. Mass: 41 kg (90 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: S-1. Decay Date: 1959-07-16 . COSPAR: F590716A.

1959 August 27 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-19.
  • Short range research and development mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). A short range (300 nm) IRBM, was fired from AMR at 2030 hours EST. The nose cone impacted 0.03 nm short and, 0.22 nm to the right, of the intended target. This was the first Jupiter missile to be programmed for a short range flight. All primary and secondary missions were accomplished.

1959 October 13 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19A.
  • Explorer 7 - . Payload: S-1A. Mass: 42 kg (92 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: S-1. USAF Sat Cat: 22 . COSPAR: 1959-Iota-1. Apogee: 857 km (532 mi). Perigee: 523 km (324 mi). Inclination: 50.3000 deg. Period: 98.60 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space. Returned magnetic field and solar flare data..

1960 November 21 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-1. FAILURE: Engine cut off after 1 sec, vehicle fell back to the pad from a few centimeters height, but did not explode. This faulty ground-support circuitry had not been noted on some 60 previous Redstone firings.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Mercury MR-1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Suborbital launch attempt. After a four- or five-inch liftoff, MR-1 launched its escape tower but not the capsule. The undamaged spacecraft was recovered for reuse..

1960 December 19 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-3.
  • Mercury MR-1A - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi). Mercury-Redstone 1A (MR-1A) was launched from Cape Canaveral in a repeat of the November 21, 1960, mission and was completely successful. This was the third attempt to accomplish the objectives established for this flight. The first attempt on November 7, 1960, was canceled as a result of a helium leak in the spacecraft reaction control system relief valve, and on November 21, 1960, the mission could not be completed because of premature cut-off of the launch vehicle engines. Objectives of the MR-1A flight were to qualify the spacecraft for space flight and to qualify the flight system for a primate flight scheduled shortly thereafter. Close attention was given to the spacecraft-launch vehicle combination as it went through the various flight sequences: powered flight; acceleration and deceleration; performance of the posigrade rockets; performance of the recovery system; performance of the launch, tracking, and recovery phases of the operation; other events of the flight including retrorocket operation in a space environment; and operation of instrumentation. Except that the launch vehicle cut-off velocity was slightly higher than normal, all flight sequences were satisfactory; tower separation, spacecraft separation, spacecraft turnaround, retrofire, retropackage jettison, and landing system operation occurred or were controlled as planned. The spacecraft reached a maximum altitude of 130.68 statute miles, a range of 234.8 statute miles, and a speed of 4,909.1 miles per hour. Fifteen minutes after landing in the Atlantic Ocean, the recovery helicopter picked up the spacecraft to complete the successful flight mission.

1961 January 31 - . 16:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-2.
  • Mercury MR-2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 251 km (155 mi). Ham, a 37-pound chimpanzee, was aboard the spacecraft. The over-acceleration of the launch vehicle coupled with the velocity of the escape rocket caused the spacecraft to attain a higher altitude and a longer range than planned. In addition, the early depletion of the liquid oxygen caused a signal that separated the spacecraft from the launch vehicle a few seconds early. However spacecraft recovery was effected, although there were some leaks and the spacecraft was taking on water. Ham appeared to be in good physiological condition, but sometime later when he was shown the spacecraft it was visually apparent that he had no further interest in cooperating with the space flight program. Despite the over-acceleration factor, the flight was considered to be successful.

1961 March 24 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-5.
  • Mercury MR-BD - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi). Summary: Suborbital test of Redstone modifications using a boilerplate Mercury capsule. The test was done at von Braun's insistence against Shepard's wishes, thereby putting the first US manned flight after Gagarin's..

1961 May 5 - . 14:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-7.
  • Mercury MR-3 - . Call Sign: Freedom 7. Crew: Shepard. Backup Crew: Grissom. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Shepard; Grissom. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mercury MR-3. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 187 km (116 mi). Alan Shepard first American in space, less than a month after Gagarin and only on a 15 minute suborbital flight. Only manned flight with original Mercury capsule design (tiny round porthole and periscope a la Vostok). If NASA had not listened to Von Braun, Shepard would have flown on the MR-BD flight of 24 March, beating Gagarin by three weeks and becoming the first man in space (though not in orbit). Shepard's capsule reached an altitude of 115.696 miles, range of 302 miles,and speed of 5,100 miles per hour. He demonstrated control of a vehicle during weightlessness and high G stresses. Recovery operations were perfect; there was no damage to the spacecraft; and Astronaut Shepard was in excellent condition.

1961 July 21 - . 12:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-8.
  • Mercury MR-4 - . Call Sign: Liberty Bell 7. Crew: Grissom. Backup Crew: Glenn. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grissom; Glenn. Agency: NASA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mercury MR-4. Spacecraft: Mercury. Apogee: 189 km (117 mi). The Mercury capsule, Liberty Bell 7, manned by Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom, boosted by a Redstone rocket, reached a peak altitude of 190.3 km and a speed of 8,335 km per hour. After a flight of 15 minutes and 37 seconds, the landing was made 487 km downrange from the launch site. The hatch blew while still in water, and the capsule sank; Grissom saved, though his suit was filling up with water through open oxygen inlet lines.

    This was the second and final manned suborbital Mercury Redstone flight, and the first flight with trapezoidal window. Further suborbital flights (each astronaut was to make one as a training exercise) were cancelled. An attempt to recover the capsule in very deep water in 1994 not successful. It was finally raised in the summer of 1999.


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