Explosive retirement

1956 June 24, Kreuters News Service

As we have reported earlier, twice this month, launches from the ISP have resulted in what has been termed “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly”.

A few days ago, a third launch did succeed, but not without its own problems. When the engines where initiated, the bolts holding the cargo fairings where detonated throwing the protection to the deck. The following ascent, while successful, was horrifying to behold, and from what we have been told, the mood in the Control Center was one focus and negative expectations.

All three launches were communications satellites, of the type “Moon Com 2” intended to provide communications coverage for the Moon.

Gene Kerman commented to Kreuters, that “Yeah, that rocket, and its predecessor have been sources of endless problems. We have lost too many of them. As such, we have taken the step to drop the class entirely. In its stead we have designed an entirely new rocket. We can’t find the problem in the original, but it does not appear that the new rocket suffer from these problems.  “



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