Spaceflight before 1951

Summary

Spaceflight before 1951
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1978-Anh.026-01, Peenemünde, V2 beim Start.jpg
Launch of a V-2 from Peenemünde.
National firsts
Spaceflight Germany (1944)
 United States (1946)
 Soviet Union (1948)
Rockets
Maiden flightsNazi Germany V-2
United StatesWAC Corporal
United StatesViking (first model)
United StatesBumper
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1
Soviet UnionR-1
Soviet UnionR-1A
Soviet UnionR-2
RetirementsUnited StatesAerobee RTV-N-8
United StatesBumper]
Soviet UnionR-1A

Spaceflight as a practical endeavor began during World War II with the development of operational liquid fueled rockets. This led to a flourishing of missile designs setting the stage for the exploration of space. Beginning life as a weapon, the V-2 was impressed into peaceful service at America's White Sands Missile Range during the late 1940s. By 1950, the United States Navy had evolved the design into the Viking capable of more than 100 miles (160 km) in altitude. The Soviet Union developed a virtual copy of the V-2 called the R-1, which first flew in 1948, and by 1950, its successor, the R-2, was in development. The small American WAC Corporal rocket was evolved into the Aerobee sounding rocket, a space science workhorse of the late 1940s.

Overview

The era of human spaceflight began in 1942 with the development of the V-2 rocket (A-4) rocket by Germany, the first vehicle capable of reaching the 100 kilometres (62 mi) boundary of space (as defined by the World Air Sports Federation).[1] In 1944, the V-2 set an altitude record of 196 kilometres (122 mi).[2]

The post-war years saw rapid development in rocket technology by both superpowers, jumpstarted by the dozens of V-2s and hundreds of German specialists that ended up in the custody of the Soviet Union and the United States.[3]:216–7[4]:226[5]:43 From 1946—7, the United States Army launched 25 captured V-2s on engineering and scientific flights.[4]:398 The V-2 was also used in early experiments with two-stage rockets: Project Bumper combined the V-2 first stage with the independently developed WAC Corporal as second stage. On 24 February 1949, a Bumper rocket set an altitude record of 417 kilometres (259 mi).[4]:257–8

The V-2, designed for carrying a warhead horizontally rather than vertical science missions, made an inefficient sounding rocket, while the WAC Corporal was too small to carry much scientific equipment.[4]:250 In 1946 the US Navy began development of its own heavy sounding rocket, the Viking, derived in part from the V-2.[6]:21–25 Six had launched by the end of 1950.[6]:236 The Aerobee was developed from the WAC Corporal to loft lighter payloads. First launched in 1947, the solid/liquid-fuel hybrid rocket quickly secured a reputation for reliability.[4]:250–1

The Soviet Union also launched 11 captured V-2s in 1947. These flights were followed by the development of the R-1, a copy of the V-2 with modifications intended to improve reliability.[5]:41 Flight testing of this first Soviet-made liquid-fueled missile began on 13 September 1948,[5]:129 and the rocket entered military service in 1950.[5]:135 At the same time, two advanced rockets with ranges of 600 kilometres (370 mi), the German émigré-designed G-1 (or R-10) and the Russian-designed R-2, competed for limited engineering and production staff, the latter winning out by the end of 1949[5]:65 and being put into service in 1951.[5]:274 The draft plan for the 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) range R-3 was approved on 7 December 1949,[5]:67 though it was never developed, later designs proving more useful and achievable.[5]:275–6

Space exploration

Aerobee launch at sea.
Aerobee launch at sea.

With the development of the first generation of purpose-built sounding rockets, the exploration of Earth's upper atmosphere and the nearest reaches of space began in earnest. Aerobee flights in 1948 measured the velocity and density of cosmic rays above 70 miles (110 km). High altitude measurements of the Earth's magnetic field were conducted. The first high quality aerial photographs covering huge swathes of the Earth and large scale cloud formations were returned.[4]:251 Some 50 Aerobee flights were launched by 1950. Around 10 WAC Corporals were also launched in this period.[7]:6

Viking 5, launched 21 November 1950 carried a vast array of photomultiplier tubes, ionization chambers and Geiger counters, for the detection radiation across a wide variety of energies and types. The rocket also carried two movie cameras to take high altitude film of the Earth all the way to its peak height of 108 miles (174 km) as well as Pirani gauges to measure air densities in the upper atmosphere.[6]:148,236 Viking 6, launched 11 December, carried a much lighter payload, but its experiments included a battery of custom built pressure gauges. The rocket underperformed, however, only reaching a maximum altitude of 40 miles (64 km).[6]:151–153,236

The V-2s captured from Germany at the end of World War II were also used for scientific missions by the United States and the Soviet Union. By the end of 1950, 63 had been launched by Americans from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, most of them equipped with research instruments.[7]:6 Three of the V-2s launched by the USSR in 1947 carried 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) experiment packages for measuring cosmic rays at high altitude; at least one returned usable data.[8]:56 Two Soviet R-1As also carried scientific equipment during test launches, but neither returned usable data.[9]

Launches

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

1942

13 June - 12 December Nazi GermanyV-2 Nazi GermanyPeenemünde Nazi GermanyWehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test Same day Mixed
7 V-2 rockets launched on test flights, 3 successfully[10]

1943

7 January - 30 December Nazi GermanyV-2 Nazi GermanyPeenemünde, Heidelager Nazi GermanyWehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test Same day Mixed
39 V-2 rockets launched on test flights; at least 9 failures[10]

1944

20 June Nazi GermanyV-2 Nazi GermanyGreifswalder Oie Nazi GermanyWehrmacht
Nazi GermanyMW 18014[2] Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test 20 June Successful
First artificial object to cross what would later be defined as the Kármán line and hence first spaceflight.
Vertical test, apogee: 174.6 kilometres (108.5 mi)
8 September Nazi GermanyV-2 Nazi GermanyHouffalize Nazi GermanyWehrmacht
Wehrmacht Suborbital Missile test Same day Successful
First combat usage of V-2 after more than a hundred test flights; ~3000 combat launches followed[10] (see List of V-2 test launches)

1945

2 October Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Allied-occupied GermanyCuxhaven United KingdomUK military
Suborbital 2 October Successful
First launch of Operation Backfire; apogee: 69.4 kilometres (43.1 mi)[11]
4 October Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Allied-occupied GermanyCuxhaven United KingdomUK military
Suborbital 4 October Partial failure
apogee: 17.4 kilometres (10.8 mi) [11]
15 October Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Allied-occupied GermanyCuxhaven United KingdomUK military
Suborbital 14 October Successful
Press and international observers present; Apogee: 64 kilometres (40 mi)[11]

1946

16 April
21:47
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite SandsLaunch Complex 33 United StatesGeneral Electric/U.S. Army
WSPG[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (Applied Physics Laboratory)[13] 16 April Guidance failure[12]
First launch of Project Hermes, apogee: 8 kilometres (5.0 mi)
10 May
21:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
WSPG[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (APL),[13] Chemical Release?*[14] 10 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 112 kilometres (70 mi), First US spaceflight
29 May
21:12
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation (APL),[13] Chemical Release?*[14] 29 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 112 kilometres (70 mi)
13 June
23:40
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Solar radiation, Ionosphere (Naval Radiation Laboratory)[13] 13 June Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 117 kilometres (73 mi)
28 June
19:25
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Naval Radiation Laboratory[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, Pressure, Temperature. Ionosphere[15]:336–337 (V-2 NO. 6) 28 June Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)
9 July
19:25
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere (Naval Radiation Laboratory), Biological (Harvard University)[15]:338–339 (V-2 NO. 7) 9 July Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 134 kilometres (83 mi)
19 July
19:11
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Ionospheric (NRL)[13] 19 July Explosion at 28.5 seconds[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
30 July
19:36
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Applied Physics Laboratory[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere (NRL)[15]:342–343 (V-2 NO. 9) 30 July Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)
15 August
18:00
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Princeton University[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere[15]:344 (V-2 NO. 10) 15 August Guidance Failure at 13.9 seconds[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
22 August
17:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
University of Michigan,[12] ARDC?[16] Suborbital Pressure, Density, Ionosphere Aeronomy, Sky Brightness[13] 22 August Guidance Failure immediately after lift[12]
Project Hermes launch
10 October
18:02
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Ray, Ionosphere, Pressure-Temperature, Solar Spectroscopy, Ejection of Cosmic Ray Recording Camera[17] Selected seeds (Harvard), Cross jet attenuation transmitter & receiver[15]:346–347 (V-2 NO. 12) 10 October Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 164 kilometres (102 mi)
24 October
19:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL[12] Suborbital Cosmic & Solar radiation, winds, photography[13] 24 October Successful, Short burning time (59 sec)[18]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi), First photo of Earth from space
7 November
20:31
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Princeton University[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation,[13] 7 November Guidance Failure at 2 seconds, missile turned sideways, flew horizontal and was destroyed[15]:350 (V-2 NO. 14)
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 0.39 kilometres (0.24 mi)
21 November
16:55
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Watson Laboratories, University of Michigan,[19] ARDC?[16] Suborbital Pressure, Temperature, Ionosphere, Sky Brightness,Voltage breakdown[15]:351–352 (V-2 NO. 15) 21 November Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 102 kilometres (63 mi)
5 December
20:08
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL [12] Suborbital Cosmic & Solar Radiation, Pressure, Temperature, Photography[13] 5 December Successful, Guidance Problems
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)
18 December
05:12
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesGRENADES APL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Meteor research, Biological (National Institute of Health),[13] Chemical release*[14] 18 December Successful, extraordinary range due to guidance failure[15]:354 (V-2 NO. 16)
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 187 kilometres (116 mi); first night flight of V-2, released artificial meteors for photographic observation[20]

1947

10 January
21:13
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite SandsLaunch Complex 33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation,[13] "Daughter Canister Release (Air Material Command)[15]:357–358 (V-2 NO. 18) 10 January Successful, Roll at 40 seconds[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 116 kilometres (72 mi)
24 January
00:22
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United States G.E.[12] Suborbital Test Guidance System,[12] Hermes A-2 Telemetry System Test[15]:359–360 (V-2 NO. 19) 24 January Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 49.88 kilometres (30.99 mi).
20 February
18:16
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom I Air Materiel Command[12] Suborbital Pressure-temperature (University of Michigan), Ionosphere (Air Force Cambridge Research Center, UoM), Sky brightness, Voltage Breakdown measurements (AFCRC), Biological rye, cotton seeds and fruit flies, first animals in space,[21] Blossom parachute recovery of canister (Cambridge Field Station)[15]:361–362 (V-2 NO. 20) 20 February Successful, Guidance disturbance at 27 sec, Roll at 37.5 sec[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi).
7 March
18:23
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Pressure-temperature, Solar Radiation, Ionosphere (NRL), Biological rye, cotton seeds and fruit flies (Harvard)[15]:363–365 (V-2 NO. 21) 7 March Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 161 kilometres (100 mi).
1 April
20:10
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation (APL & Yerkes Observatory), High altitude photography (Gun Sight Aiming Point camera)[15]:366–367 (V-2 NO. 22) 1 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 129 kilometres (80 mi)
9 April
00:10
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, High altitude photography.[15]:368–369 (V-23 NO. 20) 9 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 103 kilometres (64 mi)
17 April
23:22
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesGRENADES G.E.[12] Suborbital Pressure-Temperature: 9 Grenades (Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories)[15]:370–371 (V-2 NO. 24) 17 April Successful, Roll at 57.5 seconds[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
15 May
23:08
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL[12] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature grenades (SCEL), (Michigan University), Composition, Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation (NRL)[15]:374–375 (V-2 NO. 26) 15 May Successful, Steering trouble from lift[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
29 May[22] Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesHermes B-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesHermes II G.E. Suborbital Missile test of ramjet diffusers called "Organ."[23] 29 May Missile went South instead of North, landed in Mexico[24]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi), maiden flight of Hermes II, aka Hermes B-1
10 July
19:18
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL[12] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature, Cosmic Radiation, Ionosphere, Simulant agent experiment - Camp Detrick, Indiana, seed containers in control chamber (Harvard College Observatory)[15]:363–364 (V-2 NO. 29) 10 July Launch failure, Steering trouble from lift[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 16 kilometres (9.9 mi)
29 July
12:55
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL[12] Suborbital Cosmic Radiation, Solar Radiation, High altitude photography (APL)[15]:386–387 (V-2 NO. 30) 29 July Successful, Vane #4 ceased to operate at 27 sec[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 159 kilometres (99 mi)
6 September Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesUSS Midway, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 10 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Navy Suborbital Missile test 6 September Launch failure
Operation Sandy, first shipboard missile launch, apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
9 October
19:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature, Skin temperature, Composition (University of Michigan), Solar radiation (NRL)[15]:386–387 (V-2 NO. 30) 9 October Successful, Steering disturbance at 48.4 sec. Roll at 52 sec.[12]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 156 kilometres (97 mi)
18 October
07:47
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 October Partial failure
Apogee: 86 kilometres (53 mi); destroyed during ballistic portion of flight[25]
20 October
07:47
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 20 October Partial failure
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi); tore loose from launch stand; flew 180 kilometres (110 mi) left of planned target[25]
23 October
14:05
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Launch failure
Apogee: 14 kilometres (8.7 mi); payload destroyed, rocket disintegrated[25]
28 October
14:05
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 October Successful
Apogee: 87 kilometres (54 mi)[25]
31 October
13:41
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 31 October Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi); loss of control on longitudinal axis[25]
2 November
15:14
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 2 November Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[25]
3 November
12:05
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 November Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi); rolled after launch and lost stabilization[25]
4 November
15:02
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 4 November Successful
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi)[25]
10 November
09:39
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 November Launch failure
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); lost guidance[25]
13 November
08:30
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 November Successful
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi)[25]
13 November
14:00
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 November Partial failure
Apogee: 89 kilometres (55 mi); broke up on re-entry[25]
20 November
23:47
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E.[12] Suborbital Technology development flight for GE.[26] 20 November Launch failure, Propulsion trouble at 36 sec.[12]
Apogee: 21 kilometres (13 mi)
24 November
17:20
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands Launch Complex 35 United StatesU.S. Navy
Applied Physics Laboratory[15]:Table I, 7.3 Suborbital 24 November Launch failure, off course, flight terminated.[28]
Apogee: 56 kilometres (35 mi)[27]
8 December
21:42
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom II AMC[12] Suborbital Density-pressure-temperature (Michigan University), Skin temperature (Boston University), Solar soft X-rays,Vertical incidence ionosphere propagation, Oblique incidence ionosphere propagation, Aspect project (cameras to be lowered by parachute) (Wright Air Development Center), Sky brightness (AFCRC)[15]:379–382 (V-2 NO. 28) 8 December Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)

1948

22 January
20:12
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite SandsLaunch Complex 33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital 22 January Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 159 kilometres (99 mi)[10]
6 February
17:17
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E. Suborbital 6 February Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)[10]
5 March
22:51
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Chemical release 5 March Successful
Apogee: 118 kilometres (73 mi)[27]
19 March
23:10
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IIA G.E. Suborbital 19 March Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi)[10]
2 April
13:47
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
US Army Signal Corps Suborbital 2 April Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 144 kilometres (89 mi)[10]
13 April
21:41
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital 13 April Successful
Apogee: 114 kilometres (71 mi)[27]
19 April
19:54
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital 19 April Guidance Failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 56 kilometres (35 mi)[10]
13 May
13:43
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 1 G.E. Suborbital 13 May Successful
Maiden flight of Bumper, apogee: 127.6 kilometres (79.3 mi)[29]
27 May
14:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL Suborbital 27 May Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)[10]
11 June
10:22
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
AMC Suborbital 11 June Launch Failure, Premature Valve Closure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 63 kilometres (39 mi)[10]
26 July
16:47
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital 26 July Successful
Apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)[27]
26 July
18:03
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL Suborbital 26 July Successful, Propulsion issues at 45.2s
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 97 kilometres (60 mi)[10]
5 August
12:07
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital UV Astronomy
Solar X-ray
5 August Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 167 kilometres (104 mi)[10]
6 August
1:37
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Aeronomy/solar UV 6 August Successful
Apogee: 96.6 kilometres (60.0 mi)[27]
19 August
14:45
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 2 G.E. Suborbital 19 August Launch failure
Apogee: 13.1 kilometres (8.1 mi)[29]
3 September
01:00
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesGRENADES USASC Suborbital 3 September Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 151 kilometres (94 mi)[10]
17 September Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 17 September Launch failure
Apogee: 1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi); flight control failure;[30]; maiden flight of R-1[31]
30 September
15:30
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 3 G.E. Suborbital 30 September 2nd Stage Failure
Apogee: 150.6 kilometres (93.6 mi)[29]
10 October Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 October Successful[31]
11 October Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test, sounding rocket 11 October Successful
First Soviet spaceflight with scientific experiments[31]
13 October Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 October Successful[31]
21 October Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 21 October Successful[31]
23 October Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Successful
[31]
1 November
14:24
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army[29]
United StatesBumper 4 G.E. Suborbital 1 November Tail explosion at 28.5s
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
1 November Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Successful[31]
2 November
00:12
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Cosmic radiation, solar radiation and particles 2 November Successful
Apogee: 91 kilometres (57 mi)[27]
3 November Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 November Successful[31]
4 November Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 4 November Successful[31]
5 November Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 5 November Successful
last of nine launches in the first test series[31]
18 November
22:35
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E. Suborbital Ramjet research 18 November Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 145 kilometres (90 mi)[10]
9 December
16:08
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
USASC Suborbital 9 December Successful
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)[10]
9 December
22:38
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Aeronomy 9 December Successful
Apogee: 91 kilometres (57 mi)[27]

1949

14 January
20:26
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesHermes B-1 United StatesWhite SandsLaunch Complex 33 United StatesU.S. Army
United StatesHermes II U.S. Army Suborbital Missile test 14 January Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)[32]
28 January
17:20
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital Solar x-ray / ionosphere / aeronomy / biology 28 January Launch failure
Blossom launch, apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi)[32]
29 January
06:17
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Radiation, ionospheric 29 January Successful
Apogee: 96.6 kilometres (60.0 mi)[27]
1 February
18:38
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Solar UV and X-Ray 1 February Launch Failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi)[27]
17 February
17:00
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
APL Suborbital 17 February Successful
Apogee: 100.8 kilometres (62.6 mi)[32]
24 February
22:14
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 5 G.E. Suborbital 24 February Successful
Apogee: 393 kilometres (244 mi). The new altitude record.[29]
2 March
00:15
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Test for shipboard launch; dummy payload 2 March Launch Failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi)[27]
17 March
23:20
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesUSS Norton Sound, PO-22 LP-1 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 17 March Successful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)[27]
22 March
06:43
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IVA AMC Suborbital Ionospheric 22 March Successful
Blossom IVA; apogee: 129 kilometres (80 mi)[32]
22 March
17:20
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesUSS Norton Sound, PO-22 LP-1 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 22 March Successful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)[27]
24 March
15:14
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesUSS Norton Sound, PO-22 LP-1 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Ionospheric 24 March Launch failure
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), pressure valve malfunction, booster separated on ignition[27]
11 April
22:05
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
USASC Suborbital 11 April Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[32]
22 April
00:17
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 6 G.E. Suborbital 22 April Launch failure
Apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi)[29]
3 May United StatesViking (first model) United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 1 NRL Suborbital Aeronomy
Imaging
3 May Partial launch failure
Apogee: 83 kilometres (52 mi)[6]:236[33]
5 May
15:15
Allied-occupied GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
G.E. Suborbital 5 May Launch failure
Apogee: 8.9 kilometres (5.5 mi)[32]
7 May
03:12
Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 7 May Successful
Apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi), maiden flight of R-1A[9]
10 May
15:57
Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 May Successful[9]
15 May
02:48
Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 15 May Successful
Tested separable warhead[9]
16 May
21:55
Allied-occupied GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 16 May Successful
Tested separable warhead[9]
24 May
01:40
GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
Soviet UnionFIAR-1 NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test/aeronomy 24 May Partial Failure
Apogee: 32.9 kilometres (20.4 mi); vertical flight, tested separable warhead, carried aeronomy experiments that were not recovered[9]
28 May
01:50
GermanySoviet UnionR-1A Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 May Partial Failure
Apogee: 31.9 kilometres (19.8 mi); Final R1-A flight -- vertical flight, tested separable warhead, carried aeronomy experiments damaged on landing and returned no usable data[9]
2 June
13:10
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Aeronomy 2 June Successful
Apogee: 78.4 kilometres (48.7 mi)[27]
14 June
22:35
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IVB AMC Suborbital Biological, Atmospheric 14 June Successful
Apogee: 133.9 kilometres (83.2 mi), carried Albert II, first monkey in space[21][34][32]
15 June
02:03
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
NRL Suborbital Ozone research 15 June Successful
Apogee: 109 kilometres (68 mi)[27]
17 June
02:03
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
NRL Suborbital classified mission 17 June Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[27]
23 June
23:21
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite Sands United StatesU.S. Navy
NRL Suborbital Solar, aeronomy 23 June Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[27]
21 July
16:01
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Aeronomy 21 July Successful
Apogee: 76.1 kilometres (47.3 mi)[27]
6 September
16:57
United StatesViking (first model) United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 2 NRL Suborbital Aeronomy
Imaging
6 September Launch failure
Apogee: 57 kilometres (35 mi)[6]:236[33]
10 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 10 September
First flight of second series of tests[31]
11 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 11 September Successful[35]
13 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 September Successful[36]
14 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 14 September Successful[37]
[31]
16 September
23:19
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IVC AMC Suborbital Biological 16 September Launch Failure
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), carried Albert III[32]
17 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 17 September Successful[38]
19 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 19 September Successful[39]
20 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 20 September Launch failure[31]
20 September
17:03
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Aeronomy 20 September Successful
Apogee: 58.6 kilometres (36.4 mi)[27]
23 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 September Launch failure[31]
25 September
11:16
Soviet UnionR-2E Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 25 September Successful
Maiden flight of R-2E -- a modified R-1 missile to test R-2 concepts: integral fuel tank and separable warhead[40]
28 September GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 28 September Successful[41]
29 September
16:58
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital 29 September Successful
Apogee: 151.1 kilometres (93.9 mi)[32]
30 September
11:49
Soviet UnionR-2E Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful
[40]
2 October
11:00
Soviet UnionR-2E Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 2 October Partial failure
Fire in tail compartment[40]
3 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 3 October Successful[42]
6 October GermanyHermes B-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesU.S. Army
United StatesHermes II U.S. Army Suborbital Missile test 6 October Launch failure
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)[32]
8 October
06:05
Soviet UnionR-2E Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 8 October Successful
[40]
8 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 8 October Successful[43]
10 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 10 October Successful[44]
11 October
12:45
Soviet UnionR-2E Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 11 October Partial failure
Fire in tail compartment, last of five R-2E launches[40]
12 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 12 October Successful[45]
13 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 13 October Successful[46]
14 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 14 October Launch failure[47]
15 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 15 October Successful[48]
18 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 18 October Successful[49]
19 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 19 October Successful[50]
22 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 22 October Successful[51]
23 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionNII-88 Section 3
NII-88 Section 3 Suborbital Missile test 23 October Successful[52]
Last of second series of twenty firings
18 November
16:03
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesGRENADES USASC Suborbital 18 November Successful
Apogee: 124.2 kilometres (77.2 mi)[32]
2 December
22:20
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Solar, imaging, aeronomy 2 December Successful
Apogee: 96 kilometres (60 mi)[27]
6 December
18:32
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Army
U.S. Army Suborbital Air sampling aeronomy mission 6 December Successful
Apogee: 64.9 kilometres (40.3 mi)[27]
7 December
00:16
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Army
U.S. Army Suborbital Air sampling aeronomy mission 7 December Successful
Apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi)[27]
8 December
19:15
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IVD AMC Suborbital Biological 8 December Successful
Apogee: 127 kilometres (79 mi), carried Albert IV[32]
15 December
17:10
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
APL Suborbital Solar, imaging, aeronomy 15 December Launch failure
Apogee: 0 kilometres (0 mi)[27]

1950

15 January
23:45
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesBering Sea United StatesU.S. Navy
Applied Physics Laboratory Suborbital Particle physics 15 January Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 72 kilometres (45 mi)[27]
18 January
23:17
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesBering Sea United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Particle physics 18 January Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 80 kilometres (50 mi)[27]
9 February
21:44
United StatesViking (first model) United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 3 NRL Suborbital Solar
Imaging
9 February Launch failure
Veered off-course, failed to reach space, apogee: 80.5 kilometres (50.0 mi)[6]:236[33]
14 February
23:14
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-8 United StatesWhite SandsLaunch Complex 33 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Cosmic gamma Ionosphere mission 14 February Successful
Apogee: 87.6 kilometres (54.4 mi)[27]
17 February
18:00
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
NRL Suborbital 17 February Successful
Apogee: 148 kilometres (92 mi)[32]
22 February
00:54
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Army
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 22 February Successful
Apogee: 87.6 kilometres (54.4 mi)[27]
4 March
00:36
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Army
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 4 March Successful
Apogee: 72.4 kilometres (45.0 mi)[27]
14 March
20:43
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Solar radiation 14 March Launch failure
Apogee: 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi)[27]
26 April
01:11
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Atmospheric 26 April Successful
Apogee: 99.5 kilometres (61.8 mi)[27]
12 May
03:08
United StatesViking (first model) United StatesUSS Norton Sound, PO-8 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 4 U.S. Navy Suborbital Ionospheric
Aeronomy
12 May Successful
Apogee: 171 kilometres (106 mi)[6]:236[33]
12 May
12:30
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Particle physics 12 May Successful
Ship-launched; Apogee: 88.1 kilometres (54.7 mi)[27]
26 May
19:43
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Solar radiation 26 May Successful
Apogee: 67.6 kilometres (42.0 mi)[27]
2 June
17:07
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Solar radiation 2 June Successful
Apogee: 67.6 kilometres (42.0 mi)[27]
20 June
15:38
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital aeronomy 20 June Successful
Apogee: 92.6 kilometres (57.5 mi)[27]
14 July
08:39
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Army
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 14 July Successful
Apogee: 69.2 kilometres (43.0 mi)[27]
24 July
14:29
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesCape Canaveral Launch Complex 3 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 8 G.E. Suborbital Test 24 July Launch failure
First missile launch from Cape Canaveral; apogee: 20 kilometres (12 mi)[29]
29 July
11:25
Allied-occupied GermanyUnited StatesBumper United StatesCape Canaveral Launch Complex 3 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBumper 8 G.E. Suborbital Test 29 July Launch failure
Apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi)[29]
17 August
15:45
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
APL Suborbital Spectrometry 17 August Successful
Apogee: 101 kilometres (63 mi)[27]
31 August
17:09
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
United StatesBlossom IVG AMC Suborbital Biological 31 August Successful
Apogee: 137 kilometres (85 mi), carried a mouse[32]
1 October Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Partial failure
maiden flight of R-2 prototype missile; missed target[53]
1 October Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Partial failure
missed target[53]
12 October
19:36
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Photography 12 October Successful
Apogee: 91.3 kilometres (56.7 mi)[27]
17 October
04:00
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 17 October Successful
Apogee: 80.5 kilometres (50.0 mi)[27]
18 October
04:30
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 18 October Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[27]
21 October Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 21 October Partial Failure
missed target[53]
26 October
23:02
GermanyV-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesG.E./U.S. Army
Ballistic Research Laboratory Suborbital 26 October Launch Failure
Apogee: 8.1 kilometres (5.0 mi)[32]
27 October
13:30
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 27 October Successful
Apogee: 80.2 kilometres (49.8 mi)[27]
1 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 November Partial failure
missed target[53]
2 November
16:29
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesU.S.A.F.
U.S.A.F. Suborbital Air glow research 2 November Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[27]
9 November GermanyUnited StatesHermes B-1 United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesU.S. Army
United StatesHermes II U.S. Army Suborbital Missile test 9 November Partial Success[54]
Project Hermes launch, apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)Apogee: 80.2 kilometres (49.8 mi)
21 November
17:18
United StatesViking (first model) United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 5 NRL Suborbital Solar
Ionospheric
21 November Successful
Apogee: 174 kilometres (108 mi)[6]:236[33]
1 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[53]
1 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Partial failure
Missed target[53]
11 December
17:04
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 11 December Successful
Apogee: 83.9 kilometres (52.1 mi)[27]
12 December
04:06
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 12 December Successful
Apogee: 84 kilometres (52 mi)[27]
12 December
07:04
United StatesViking (first model) United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesU.S. Navy
United StatesViking 6 U.S. Navy Suborbital 12 December Launch failure
Apogee: 64 kilometres (40 mi)[6]:236[33]
12 December
09:10
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 12 December Successful
Apogee: 77 kilometres (48 mi)[27]
12 December
18:26
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1 United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital 12 December Successful
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi)[27]
19 December
18:52
United StatesAerobee XASR-SC-2 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesU.S. Navy
U.S. Army Suborbital Aeronomy 19 December Successful
Apogee: 81.9 kilometres (50.9 mi)[27]
20 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 20 December Partial failure
Final flight of 12 mission prototype series; missed target[53]

Suborbital launch summary (1945-1950)

By country

United Kingdom: 3Soviet Union: 63USA: 132Circle frame.svg
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 United Kingdom 3 2 0 1
 Soviet Union 63 36 8 9
 United States 132 82 34 16

By rocket

Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
V-2  United States 72 37 20 15 Maiden flight
Bumper  United States 8 2 6 0 Maiden flight
Viking (first model)  United States 6 2 3 1 Maiden flight
Aerobee RTV-N-8  United States 17 14 3 0 Maiden flight, retired
Aerobee RTV-N-10  United States 4 4 0 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee XASR-SC-1  United States 8 8 0 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee XASR-SC-2  United States 8 8 0 0 Maiden flight
Aerobee RTV-A-1  United States 9 7 2 0 Maiden flight
V-2  United Kingdom 3 2 0 1 Maiden flight
V-2  Soviet Union 11 4 4 3 Maiden flight, retired
R-1  Soviet Union 29 25 4 0 Maiden flight
R-1A  Soviet Union 6 4 0 2 Maiden flight
R-2  Soviet Union 5 3 0 2 Maiden flight

See also

References

  1. ^ Voosen, Paul (24 July 2018). "Outer space may have just gotten a bit closer". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau8822. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Louis de Gouyon Matignon. "Peenemünde and the German V-2 rockets". Space Legal Issues. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  3. ^ Dieter K. Kuzel (1962). Peenemünde to Canaveral. United States of America: Prentice Hall.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Willy Ley (June 1951). Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel. Dominion of Canada: Viking Press. OCLC 716327624.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Boris Chertok (June 2006). Rockets and People, Volume II: Creating a Rocket Industry. Washington D.C.: NASA. OCLC 946818748.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Milton W. Rosen (1955). The Viking Rocket Story. New York: Harper & Brothers. OCLC 317524549.
  7. ^ a b George Ludwig (2011). Opening Space Research. Washington D.C.: geopress. OCLC 845256256.
  8. ^ Asif A. Siddiqi. Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974 (PDF). Washington D.C.: NASA. OCLC 1001823253.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Wade, Mark. "R-1A". Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Wade, Mark. "V-2". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Report on operation 'Backfire' Recording and analysis of the trajectory. 5. Ministry of Supply. January 1946. pp. 9–11.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao White, L. D. (September 1952). Final Report,Project Hermes V-2 Missile Program. Schnectady, New York: Guided Missile Department, Aeronautic and Ordnance Systems Division, Defense Products Group, General Electric. p. Table I.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kennedy, Gregory P. (2009). The Rockets and Missiles of White Sands Proving Ground. Atglen, PA.: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7643-3251-7.
  14. ^ a b c I have found no evidence that a chemical release experiment was flown. Chemical release is usually done to conduct aeronomy or wind studies.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Smith, Charles P. Jr. (February 1958). Naval Research Laboratory Report No. 4276 Upper Atmospheric Research Report Number XXI, Summary of Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Firings (pdf). Washington D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  16. ^ a b Kennedy list the Agency for this flight as ARDC while White does not as the Air Research and Development Command did not exist until 1950 kennedy may have confused ARDC with the AAF Technical Service Command, the Air Technical Service Command, or the Air Materiel Command.
  17. ^ Newell, H. E. Jr.; Siry, J. W. (30 December 1946). Naval Research Laboratory Report No. R-3030 (pdf). Washington D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory. pp. 11, 91.
  18. ^ Newell, H. E. Jr.; Siry, J. W. (30 December 1946). Naval Research Laboratory Report No. R-3030 (PDF). Washington D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory. p. Table I. Archived from the original (pdf) on 6 September 2017.
  19. ^ Newell, H. E. Jr.; Siry, J. W. (30 December 1946). Naval Research Laboratory Report No. R-3030 Upper Atmospheric Research Report Number II (pdf). Washington D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory. pp. Table I. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  20. ^ F. Zwicky (February 1947). "THEFIRSTNIGHT-FIRINGOFAV-2ROCKETINTHEUNITEDSTATES". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 59 (346): 32.
  21. ^ a b "Part 1: 1900 – 1950". Chronology of Human Space Exploration. I-Spy Space.
  22. ^ Newell & Siry, Neufeld, and Kennedy agree that the launch was on 29 May.
  23. ^ Neufeld, Michael J. (2007). Von Braun, Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War. New York: Vintage Books. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-307-38937-4.
  24. ^ Kennedy, Gregory P. (2009). The Rockets and Missiles of White Sands Proving Ground. Atglen, PA.: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7643-3251-7.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wade, Mark. "Kapustin Yar V-2". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  26. ^ Wade, Mark. "1947". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at Wade, Mark. "Aerobee". Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  28. ^ Van Allen, James A. & Townsend, Jr. (1959). "Chapter 4:The Aerobee Rocket". In Newell, Homer E. (ed.). Sounding Rockets. McGraw-Hill Book Company. pp. 61–62.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Wade, Mark. "BUMPER-WAC". Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  30. ^ "Пуски ракет 17 сентября 1948 года". SpaSecraftrocket.org. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Wade, Mark. "R-1". Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Wade, Mark. "White Sands LC33". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  33. ^ a b c d e f Wade, Mark. "Viking Sounding Rocket". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  34. ^ Wade, Mark. "V-2 Chronology". Encyclopedia Astronautica.
  35. ^ "Пуск ракеты 11 сентября 1949 года". SpaSecraftrocket.org. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
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  40. ^ a b c d e Wade, Mark. "R-2E". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
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  51. ^ "Пуск ракеты 22 октября 1949 года". SpaSecraftrocket.org. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
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  53. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Wade, Mark. "R-2". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  54. ^ Neufeld, Michael J. (2007). Von Braun, Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War. New York: Vintage Books. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-307-38937-4.