Preserving Our Past, Focusing On The Future
Exploring the Imagination of Science
Saturday October 12 : 10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday October 13: 10 AM - 3 PM
Carson Community Center 801 Carson Avenue Carson, CA 90745
Events Celebrating Apollo's 50th Anniversary
The Time Machine
Intercontinental Cruise Missile Project
From Astronautix- “The Navaho intercontinental cruise missile project was begun just after World War II, at a time when the US Army Air Force considered ballistic missiles to be technically impractical. The Navaho required a large liquid propellant rocket engine to get its Mach 3 ramjet up to ignition speed. This engine, derived with German assistance from that of the V-2, provided the basis for the rockets that would later take Americans into space.
It turned out that mastering the guidance and materials technology needed for a Mach 3 cruise air vehicle was actually more difficult than for a Mach 22 ballistic missile. In the end, the Redstone, Thor, Jupiter, and Atlas rockets were flying before their equivalent-range Navaho counterparts. However the Navaho program provided the engine technology that allowed the US to develop these ballistic missiles rapidly and catch up with the Russians. Navaho also developed chem-milling fuel tank fabrication techniques, inertial and stellar navigation, and a host of other technologies used in later space vehicles. It put North American Aviation, and its Rocketdyne Division, in a leading position that allowed them to capture the prime contracts for the X-15, Apollo, and Space Shuttle projects, thereby dominating American manned spaceflight for the next seventy years”.
“The X-10 was in advance of anything else conceived in 1947, and anything else even flying in the 1950's. There was nothing else powered by turbojet engines that could beat it in thrust/weight, aerodynamics, speed, or altitude during its flight test period. However, since it was unmanned, and highly classified, it obtained no official records.
The most troublesome aspect of the X-10 were the 'supplemental' systems that were designed to make it recoverable and reusable. The drag chute just could not be made to work, and time and again the ground barrier systems failed. In retrospect, trying to make the vehicle reusable and recoverable may have been a big mistake. The 13 vehicles built made 30 flights, but many of those were wasted just working out the autoland system, and only one vehicle survived the test program. An expendable vehicle, or one with a jettisonable data capsule, could have achieved the test objectives, faster, using the same number of air vehicles. Perhaps for this reason, the Air Force decided to abandon recovery of many of the next-generation test Navaho’s.” Source- Astronautix .com
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