• Short Summary

    AFTER MONTHS OF FRUSTRATING DELAYS, THE MAIDEN TEST FLIGHT OF THE GIANT TWO-STAGE "CENTAUR", THE NEWEST AND MOST REVOLUTIONARY AMERICAN SPACE ROCKET, ENDED WITH A SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION JUST SIXTY-SECONDS AFTER LIFT-OFF FROM A PAD AT CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, MAY 8.

  • Description

    1.
    LV ROCKET TAKING OFF IN FLIGHT
    0.16

    2.
    GV ROCKET EXPLODES
    0.25

    3.
    LV DITTO
    0.26

    4.
    LV STILL EXPLODING
    0.34

    5.
    LV SMOKE
    0.38

    6.
    LV PART OF ROCKET FALLING
    0.45



    Initials TDH/N/BF TDN/N/JH/BF


    EDITORS: WE APOLOGIZE FOR POOR QUALITY TELERECORDING.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: AFTER MONTHS OF FRUSTRATING DELAYS, THE MAIDEN TEST FLIGHT OF THE GIANT TWO-STAGE "CENTAUR", THE NEWEST AND MOST REVOLUTIONARY AMERICAN SPACE ROCKET, ENDED WITH A SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION JUST SIXTY-SECONDS AFTER LIFT-OFF FROM A PAD AT CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, MAY 8.

    THE 105-FEET HIGH ROCKET WAS THE UNITED STATES' FIRST ATTEMPT TO HARNESS THE IMMENSE POWER OF LIQUID HYDROGEN AS A FUEL. IT LIFTED OFF CLEANLY AND APPEARED TO BE FOLLOWING ITS SCHEDULED COURSE, BUT WHEN ONLY SEVERAL THOUSAND FEET UP IT EXPLODED IN A HUGE MUSHROOM OF FLAME - EVEN BEFORE THE TWO LIQUID HYDROGEN ENGINES IN THE SECOND STAGE WERE DUE TO IGNITE. THE FUEL BURNED QUICKLY, LEAVING A CHUNK OF FLAMING METAL WHICH PLUMMETED TO EARTH.

    "CENTAUR" - THE FIRST STAGE OF WHICH CONSISTED OF A MODIFIED "ATLAS" MISSILE-IS CAPABLE OF PLACING 8,500 POUND SATELLITES IN ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH, LANDING 2,300 POUNDS ON THE MOON, OR HURLING 1,300 POUNDS TO MARS OR VENUS. THE MAY 8 TEST FLIGHT WAS SCHEDULED TO LAST ONLY 15-MINUTES, AND WAS DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY TO PROVIDE FLIGHT DATA ON HOW LIQUID HYDROGEN WOULD BEHAVE IN SPACE. THIS SUPER-COLD FUEL, WHICH MUST BE KEPT AT A TEMPERATURE OF 423-DEGREES BELOW ZERO, PROVIDES A 40 PER-CENT BETTER PERFORMANCE THAN CHEMICAL FUELS EMPLOYED IN PRESENT ROCKET ENGINES.

    AMERICAN SPACE SCIENTISTS, WHO ADMITTED PREVIOUSLY THAT THEY DID NOT EXPECT A PERFECT FLIGHT ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT, ARE NOW INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT, BUT HAVE EXPRESSED THEMSELVES COMPARATIVELY HAPPY WITH INFORMATION SIGNALLED BACK IN THE SECONDS THAT "CENTAUR" WAS SOARING ALOFT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA448XFKOD5AV0HSLVA7SD8AKF8
    Media URN:
    VLVA448XFKOD5AV0HSLVA7SD8AKF8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    09/05/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:00:45:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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