Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Mission Name:||Saturn-Apollo 2|
|Launch:||April 25, 1962|
|Landing:||April 25, 1962|
|Duration:||2 min 2.56 s|
|Apogee:||65.2 mi (104.9 km)|
|~65 mi (~104.6 km)|
|Apogee Mass:||138,480 kg|
The objectives of SA-2 were much the same as those of SA-1. But as well as testing the rockets structurally and the new engines, SA-2 was designed for Project High Water . This was an experiment to release a large quantity of water into the upper atmosphere to investigate its effects.
To accomplish this, the dummy second and third stages of were ballasted with 109,000 litres (86,000 kg) of water (equal to about nine and a half olympic size swimming pools). When the rocket was at 105 km a charge was denonated that exploded the rocket. This would be used to study the effects on radio transmission and changes in local weather conditions.
The preparations at the Cape only took two months from the arrivals of the first stage and dummy upper stages to launch on 25 April, 1962. As with the first flight this mission was sub-orbital. Once again the launch phase was perfect and the rocket reached a maximum height of 65.2 mi - 105 km.
At this point (2 minutes 2.56 seconds MET) commands were sent to denonate the rocket as planned. This dispersed the water ballast and within five seconds observers on the ground reported seeing a cloud forming. It then proceeded to raise up to about 160 km in altitude.
Engineers were pleased to find that the sloshing that had occurred on the first flight in the fuel tanks didn't happen on SA-2. This they credited to the extra anti-slosh baffles that had been installed. For the test flight, SA-2 only carried a propellant load that was 83% of full capacity.
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