Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC26B


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.

This 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. Pads 26B supported its first Jupiter launches on 22 October 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: -80.5712 deg.
Latitude: 28.4433 deg.
First Launch: 1957.10.23.
Last Launch: 1961.05.24.
Number: 22 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Beacon 1 American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1958.10.23 (Beacon 1) and 1959.08.15 (Beacon 2). More...
  • S-46 American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1960.03.23, Explorer. More...
  • S-30 American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1960.11.03, Explorer 8. Ionospheric research. More...
  • P-14 American solar satellite. 3 launches, 1961.02.24 (Explorer) to 1961.05.24 (Explorer). Magnetic field data. More...
  • S-15 American solar satellite. One launch, 1961.04.27, Explorer 11. Gamma ray data. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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 Jupiters were stationed in Turkey and Italy in the early 1960's, but withdrawn in secret exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet R-5 missiles from Cuba.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...

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 LC26B Chronology


1957 October 23 - . 01:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-3.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The fifth Jupiter was fired from the AMR at 2007 hours EST. This was the first flight with a heat protected nose cone. The ST-90 inertial guidance stabilised platform was operated with partially closed circuits. Cut-off was effected by the guidance system at 170.37 seconds. Since fuel was not depleted, flight time was 9.5 seconds longer than had been predicted for an approximate 1,100 nm range. The range error was 10.2 nm with a 3.4 nm lateral error. The nose cone survived re-entry and impacted in the general vicinity of the predicted impact point. Again, a successful flight.

1957 November 27 - . 02:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-3A. FAILURE: At 202 seconds of flight mechanical failure of the turbo-pump caused a complete loss of thrust.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi). Fired from AMR at 2110 hours EST. Main stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile passed through the critical dynamic pressure period and followed the prescribed trajectory until 202 seconds of flight when the engine thrust was terminated. From an analysis covering the period before thrust termination, mechanical failure of the turbo-pump stopped the flow of propellants to the combustion chamber causing a complete loss of thrust. Telemetry signals ceased at 232 seconds. The missile was at an altitude of 65,000 feet when an explosion was observed from the Test Centre above the horizon. The long range mission of this flight was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were considered successful.

1957 December 19 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-4. FAILURE: Thrust ended abruptly at 116.87 seconds of flight due to turbo-pump malfunction.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Fired from AMR at 1507 hours EST. The main-stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile followed the prescribed trajectory. Thrust ended abruptly at 116.87 seconds of flight which resulted in a short-range impact. Failure was again attributed to turbo-pump malfunction. The long-range mission. was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were successfully accomplished. The abrupt shutdown of the power plant resulted in a range of approximately 149 nm and an altitude of approximately 50 nm.

1958 May 18 - . 05:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-5.
  • Gaslight Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). AM-5, carrying America's first tactical type re-entry nose cone, was fired from AMR at 0005 hours EST. This was also the first flight test. for first and second stage separation. Impact was 28.3 nm under and 15.6 nm to the right at a range of about 1,275 nm after approximately 960 seconds of flight. In less than five hours, the nose cone was recovered - the world's first recovery of an IRBM nose cone.

1958 July 17 - . 09:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-6B.
  • Gaslight Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 0404 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 1,241.3 nm. The nose cone impacted 1.0 nm short and 1.5 nm to the right of the predicted impact point. This was the first flight test of the complete inertial guidance system. The nose cone recovery mission was successful. This was also the second successful flight test of a full scale tactical type nose cone, as well as a successful flight test of the Jupiter lightweight, high explosive warhead.

1958 October 10 - . 03:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-9. FAILURE: Destroyed after 49 seconds of erratic flight caused by fire in the tail section.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Fired from AMR at 2249 hours EST. The missile was destroyed after 49 seconds of erratic flight caused by fire in the tail section. The fire was believed to have started by a pin-hole leak near the thrust transducer which burned through the fuel and LOX transducer lines. This was the first Jupiter missile to use swivelled turbine exhaust for roll contral, also first use of solid vernier control.

1958 December 13 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-13.
  • Bioflight 1 Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Gordo launched into space. Fired from AMR at 0353 hours EST. The missile's nose cone impacted in the pre-selected target area at a range of approximately 1,302 nm. The significant mission of the missile was the flight of a South American squirrel monkey `Gordo' up to and down from outer space. Although nose cone recovery efforts failed because the float mechanism attached to the nose cone did not function, telemetry data provided useful biomedical information and disclosed that the Navy-trained squirrel monkey had withstood the space flight and reentry phase without any adverse physiological effects. Gordo was in a weightless state for 8.3 minutes, he experienced a 10g pressure in takeoff, and a 40g pressure upon reentry at 10,000 miles per hour. The flight was considered one of the outstanding achievements of space research. The impact was 5.2 nm over and 0.75 nm to the right of impact point. The overshoot was caused by interaction which occurred at separation between the booster and aft sections. A temporary cable connecting the two bodies had not been removed prior to launch.

1959 February 27 - . 23:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-22.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 1850 hours EST. The primary mission of impacting the nose cone in a pre-calculated target (MILS Network) was successfully accomplished, The nose cone impacted in the 1,302 nm target area, 2.8 nm over, with no lateral deviations. Again, the vernier engine ran to cut-off rather than the commanded 14 seconds -- a near perfect flight. For the first rime, missile roll was controlled by a turbine exhaust nozzle designed to eliminate problems experienced on previous flights.

1959 April 4 - . 00:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM CM-22A.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 1934 hours EST. The primary mission of impacting a nose cone in a pre-calculated target area (MILS Network) was successfully accomplished with an impact of 0.8 nm under end 5.0 nm to the left of the 1,302 nm range. The lateral miss was believed to have been caused by a drifting gyro.

1959 May 7 - . 01:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-12.
  • Research and development test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 2047 hours EST. All primary missions were essentially successful, although the impact was 69 nm short and 4.9 nm to the right of the 1,302 nm predicted impact point. This undershoot was due to thrust controller deviation which commanded the exceedingly high thrust level during the main power flight pre-selected flight path. Cut-off occurred at 144 seconds of flight.

1959 May 28 - . 07:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-18.
  • Bioflight 2 Test/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Able and Baker recovered after spaceflight. Fired from AMR at 0235 hours EST. The flight was successful with impact ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 nm from the target. The missile travelled a 1,302 nm range. The significant mission of the missile was to test the effects of cosmic radiation, increased gravity, and weightlessness on live passengers and biomedical experiments of material housed in the nose cone. On board were an American-born rhesus monkey, Able; a squirrel monkey, Baker; and the biomedical experiments -- yeast , corn, mustard seeds, fruit-fly larvae, human blood, mould spore, and fish eggs. Able and Baker were recovered unharmed within one and one-half hours after lift-off. This milestone marked the first recovery of living creatures from a flight through near space. The biomedical experiments were for NASA analysis. Telemetry data disclosed that the responses of the animals were normal for the conditions they were experiencing. During the boost phase, when the higher g-loads were being sustained, body temperature, respiration, pulse rate, and heartbeat rose but were well within tolerable limits. During the weightless period along the trajectory arc, the physiological responses of Able and Baker approached normal - so near, in fact, that according to telemetry data, Baker appeared either to doze or to become drowsy. Upon reentry, the responses rose again, but at landing the animals were nearing a settled physiological state. This flight was another milestone proving that life could be sustained in a space environment.

1959 July 10 - . 01:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-15.
  • Research and development test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 2001 hours EST to test missile accuracy. All primary and secondary missions were successfully accomplished and impact was well within 1 nm of the pre-selected point, approximately 1,302 nm downrange -- a miss distance of only 0.48 nm short and 0.09 nm to the right.

1959 August 15 - . 00:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19B. FAILURE: First stage shut down too early; no attitude control for upper stages.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Beacon 2 - . Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon 1. Decay Date: 1959-08-14 . COSPAR: F590815A.

1959 September 15 - . 21:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-23. FAILURE: The flight was erratic at lift-off and the missile destroyed itself after 13 seconds, just before command destruct. Failure of a silver soldered connection joint to the pressure sphere caused destruction of the missile.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Bioflight 3 Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Summary: Scheduled for launch at 0430 hours EST, was fired from AMR at 1645 hours EST. The nose cane housed several NASA biological specimens, including 14 mice..

1959 November 19 - . 01:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-25.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Summary: Successfully fired from AMR at 2031 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 664.8 nm. Nose cone impacted 0.9 nm over and 1.0 nm left of the target. This was the first medium range flight for a tactical prototype..

1959 December 17 - . 00:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-26.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Summary: Fired from AMR at 1903 hours EST to a prescribed distance of 300 nm. The flight was successful in all phases. Impact was 0.3 nm to the right of the 300 nm range. .

1960 January 26 - . 00:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter. LV Configuration: Jupiter IRBM AM-28.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 1948 hours EST to a prescribed range of: 1,299.4 nm. The nose cone impacted 0.04 nm over and 3.27 nm to the left. All missions were successfully accomplished despite elevated temperatures in the tail section. The primary mission of this flight was to test the two-way deflector launch section and to analyse elevated temperatures in the tail

1960 March 23 - . 13:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19C. FAILURE: Upper stage failed to ignite. Third stage failed to ignite due to loss of radio contact.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Explorer S-46 - . Payload: S-46. Mass: 16 kg (35 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: S-46. Decay Date: 1960-03-23 . COSPAR: F600323A.

1960 November 3 - . 05:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19D.
  • Explorer 8 - . Payload: S-30. Mass: 41 kg (90 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: S-30. USAF Sat Cat: 60 . COSPAR: 1960-Xi-1. Apogee: 1,331 km (827 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 49.9000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Summary: Ionospheric research. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1961 February 25 - . 00:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19F. FAILURE: Third Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Explorer - . Payload: S-45. Mass: 34 kg (74 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-02-24 . COSPAR: F610224A.

1961 April 27 - . 14:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19E.
  • Explorer 11 - . Payload: S-15. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: S-15. USAF Sat Cat: 107 . COSPAR: 1961-Nu-1. Apogee: 1,458 km (905 mi). Perigee: 480 km (290 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 104.50 min. Summary: Gamma ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1961 May 24 - . 19:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. LV Configuration: Juno II AM-19G. FAILURE: Second Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Explorer S-45A - . Payload: S-45A. Mass: 33 kg (72 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-05-24 . COSPAR: F610524A.

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