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All postponed to Monday.
My dad, educated as an aeronautical engineer, was hired out of school by Convair Astronautics in San Diego and got in on the early stages of the Atlas ICBM program in the early 1950s.
Much like SpaceX, Convair was pioneering uncharted engineering territory in developing America’s first ICBM.
The Atlas was conceived around a unique design concept. To quote from Wikipeida:
“Atlas was unusual in its use of balloon tanks for fuel, made of very thin stainless steel with minimal or no rigid support structures. Pressure in the tanks provides the structural rigidity required for flight. An Atlas rocket would collapse under its own weight if not kept pressurized, and had to have 5 psi (34 kPa) nitrogen in the tank even when not fueled.”
Those who have viewed film footage of early Atlas launch attempts know fully well that many of these missiles exploded on the launch pad or shortly after commencing their flight.
Ultimately, the bugs were worked out and the Atlas, in multiple variants, was deployed at remote launch sites across the heartland of America from 1959 till 1965.
I imagine SpaceX will work out their bugs as well.
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1,994 total views
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1,996 total views