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Juno/Jupiter-C Upper Stages Mockup

The Jupiter-C, Juno I, and Juno II all used a set of upper stages manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory known as "high speed stages." Although I've never read an explanation for this name, I believe it is because these stages added the "high speed" to the speed imparted by the Redstone or Jupiter first stage necessary to place a payload into orbit.

The museum has a mockup of the Juno/Jupiter-C upper or "high speed" stages. I believe that I've only seen this mockup in conjunction to special exhibits.

I first saw it as part of the 2011 von Braun exhibit. It was just outside Space Hall, near where the entrance to the former Rocket City Legacy had been. By the time I returned the next summer, it had been moved to the gallery to the west of Space Hall, and an Explorer 1 mockup had been mounted to it.

As of summer 2019, it is part of the Apollo: When We Went to the Moon Gallery exhibit.

When I first saw it, I recognized what it was (even though I was, at the time, relatively unfamiliar with the high-speed stages) and was curious as to whether it was a left-over piece of flight equipment or a mockup. So I did what anyone else might do: I crawled around on the floor and looked up inside it. The plywood comprising the forward bulkhead quickly answered that question; it was a mockup.

As I did a bit of research, I found that, while the "tub" contains a second stage and something resembling a fourth stage, it lacks a third stage and fourth stage adapter.

Still, with the scaled Sergeant solid-propellant rocket motors poking up over the top, it's a nice little mockup.

For additional information, see my page on the Jupiter-C/Juno high speed stages and/or The Juno Program.

 
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