77
77
Little Joe Mercury Test Vehicle Blueprints
LITTLE JOE NAME ATTRIBUTED TO DR. MAX FAGET
Estimate
1,2001,800
JUMP TO LOT
77
Little Joe Mercury Test Vehicle Blueprints
LITTLE JOE NAME ATTRIBUTED TO DR. MAX FAGET
Estimate
1,2001,800
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Space Exploration

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Little Joe Mercury Test Vehicle Blueprints
LITTLE JOE NAME ATTRIBUTED TO DR. MAX FAGET
Two blueprints. Layout – Autopilot Installation (Little Joe). North American Aviation, Inc., Missile Development Division, Downey, CA. Number 4536-900019-A. June 24, 1959. Model MD-4. 22 ½ by 41 ½ inches. Scale ¼. Tank – Control System Weldment (Little Joe). North American Aviation, Inc., Missile Development Division, Downey, CA. Number 4536-900014. May 23, 1959. Model MD-4. 18 by 74 inches. Scale not noted.
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Catalogue Note

The NASA Mercury Little Joe Program was a series of 8 two-stage solid rocket booster flights between 1959 and 1961 to qualify the various systems in Mercury spacecraft, mainly the escape tower system prior to manned flights. Two flights carried Rhesus monkeys Sam and Miss Sam, and all were launched over the Atlantic Ocean from a NASA launch site located at Wallops Island, Virginia. The name “Little Joe” is attributed to Dr. Max Faget because the vehicle’s four fins seemed to look like a dice roll of two and two or a “little joe” in slang terms in a craps dice game.

The autopilot blueprint illustrates a top and side view indicating placement for the autopilot and destruct units. The top view shows the location of the attitude gyroscope and two rate gyros along with the TX-33 rocket engine tanks and four pressure tank sway braces. The side view show the autopilot placed on a bonded aluminum alloy honeycomb shelf atop the pressure tanks of the booster. A note reads: “The Missile Division is proceeding with the installation of the autopilot (Minneapolis-Honeywell) on the basis of this layout. If any changes are forthcoming, the Missile Division must have this new data with minimum delay.”

The tank control system blueprint illustrates a top and side view of the main propulsion tank for the TX-33 engines. The tank top is 15 7/8 inches in diameter and 187.36 inches in length. Size specifications of drill holes and welds are located throughout the entire blueprint with three detailed sub-drawing. A series of eleven notes include details on machining specifications, heat treatment, cleaning, hydrostatic tests and drying.

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