Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC26A


Redstone, Jupiter launch complex. The LC-26 dual launch pad complex was constructed for the U.S. Army's Redstone and Jupiter missile programs in 1956-1957. At least 36 Redstone, Jupiter, Jupiter C and Juno II launches were conducted 1957-1964.

The LC-26 dual launch pad complex was constructed for the U.S. Army's Redstone and Jupiter missile programs.Construction started in 1956, and both pads were occupied in May 1957. Pad 26A supported its first Jupiter launch on 28 August 1957. At least 36 Redstone, Jupiter, Jupiter C and Juno II launches were conducted from Complex 26 before the site was deactivated in 1964. On 20 November 1964, the complex was reassigned for development as the USAF Space Museum. Since 1966, the USAF Space Museum has been open to the public. The museum includes Complex 26's blockhouse, an exhibit hall and an outdoor display area featuring about 70 missile and space launch vehicles. Complex 26 was declared a national historic landmark in April 1984.

Longitude: -80.5705 deg.
Latitude: 28.4446 deg.
First Launch: 1957.08.28.
Last Launch: 1963.01.23.
Number: 14 .

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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...

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 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...

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 LC26A Chronology


1957 August 28 - . 21:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-2.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The fourth Jupiter was fired from AMR at 1602 hours EST over IRBM range and was the second successful flight of the series. The range error was 27.5 nm with a 36.5 nm lateral error. Range was predicted for 146 nm. LOX was cut off at 170 seconds. All flight missions were fulfilled satisfactorily. Separation occurred 5 seconds after burnout, as programmed, This was the first test of separation of body from thrust unit.

1958 February 1 - . 03:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS-29.
  • Explorer 1 - . 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: 1970-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 4 . COSPAR: 1958-Alpha-1. Apogee: 1,859 km (1,155 mi). Perigee: 347 km (215 mi). Inclination: 33.2000 deg. Period: 107.20 min. Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, was launched by a modified Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter-C. Explorer I, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, carried the U.S.-IGY (International Geophysical Year) experiment of James A. Van Allen and resulted in the discovery of the radiation belt around the earth.

1958 March 5 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. LV Configuration: Jupiter C/Juno I RS/CC-26. FAILURE: Fourth Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 2 - . 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: 1958-03-05 . COSPAR: F580305A.

1958 August 27 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-7.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 1815 hours EST. The countdown was normal. Operations were interrupted by one hold -- a 15 minute delay for minor adjustments. Ignition, main-stage, and lift-off were normal. The missile followed the pre-selected trajectory closely during powered flight, though cut-off was effected by fuel depletion rather than by pre-set guidance cut-off. The nose cone impacted 39 nm short and 15.7 nm to the left of the pre-calculated range of 1,246 nm. Jupiter 7 was the first flight test of the warhead and fuse system. This also marked the second flight test of the :Jupiter all-inertial guidance system, the fourth flight test of the NAA S-3D engine operating at 150,000 pounds thrust, and the first flight test of the solid propellant spin rocket and vernier motor.

1959 July 22 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. LV Configuration: Redstone CC-2003. FAILURE: Control system malfunction during re-entry at 380 sec..
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Summary: Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 684 m..

1959 August 5 - . 02:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. LV Configuration: Redstone CC-2004. FAILURE: Pre-launch tanking error caused early cut-off by fuel depletion..
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Summary: Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 2,707 m..

1959 October 22 - . 03:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-31.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The first full range tactical prototype, was fired from AMR at 2220 hours EST. All missions assigned to the flight was successfully accomplished. The missile covered a prescribed range of 1,600.448 nm, with the nose cone impacting 0.9 nm short and 0.6 nm to the right. This was the fourth Chrysler-assembled missile to be flight tested.

1960 October 20 - . 16:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-217.
  • LST test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Jupiter missile Live System Test 217, the first to be fired under simulated tactical conditions using GSE prescribed for the Jupiter deployed to NATO I, was fired from AMR at 1102 hours EST. The missile successfully accomplished all primary and secondary missions. The nose cone impacted 1.1 nm over and 0.2 nm right of the pre-determined target 962.5 nm downrange.

1961 April 22 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-209.
  • CTL - . Nation: Italy. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Jupiter Missile Combat Training Launch 209, the first in a series of 12 CTL firings, was launched from AMR to a prescribed range of 1514 nm. The nose cone impacted .79 nm over and 2.19 nm right of the intended target. All missions were accomplished. The missile followed the intended flight path and performed within the accuracy requirements of the Jupiter system. IAF troops conducted the firing after LOD of MFSC completed the preliminary checkout. The primary mission of the test woe to evaluate the capabilities of launch crews under operational alert conditions.

1961 August 5 - . 00:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-218.
  • CTL - . Nation: Italy. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The second Jupiter to be fired under the operational control of NATO troops in the Combat Training Launch program was fired from AMR at 1919 hours and 06 seconds EST to a range of 1,516 nm. The missile was originally scheduled for firing on 3 August but was postponed because of problems with the fuel probe in the fuel start tank and the micro-switch on the fuel pumping lever arm which controls the fuel flow rate. All missions assigned to the missile and to the NATO training launch crew were successfully accomplished.

1961 December 6 - . 22:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-115.
  • CTL - . Nation: Italy. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The third NATO operational control Combat Training Launch was fired from AMR at 1737 hours and 24 seconds EST to a prescribed range of 1,516 nm. The missile was well constrained to the intended flight path and within accuracy requirements of the Jupiter system. The missile impacted in the target area and all missions assigned to this test were successfully accomplished.

1962 April 18 - . 18:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-114.
  • CTL - . Nation: Turkey. Agency: TUAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Combat Training Launch fired from AMR at 1317 hours and 54.1 seconds EST to a predicted impact point of 1,514 nm from the firing site. All functions of the flight were normal up to 153 seconds, at which time fuel depletion was reached and normal guidance cut-off was not achieved. The missile impacted approximately 230 miles short of the intended target. All missions assigned to the NATO training launch crew were accomplished.

1962 August 1 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-111.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: Italy. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1963 January 23 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-106.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: Italy. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

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