Juno rockets were among the most significant launch vehicles in the history of spaceflight.
Juno formed a crucial link between American Cold War military missiles and
the rockets first launched human beings toward another world.
A modified Redstone missile specifically
designed to carry lightweight payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO). Otherwise
identical to the three-stage Jupiter
C, it had a fourth stage that remained attached to the satellite in
orbit. To reflect its non-military role, its name was officially changed
from Jupiter to Juno at the request of JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) chief
William Pickering on Nov. 18, 1957. It later became Juno I to distinguish
it from the Juno II. A Juno I successfully launched Explorer 1, the first American satellite on Jan. 31, 1958, and two more in the same
year placed Explorer 3 and Explorer 4 into orbit.
A marriage of a Jupiter first stage and Juno I upper stages capable of delivering
a 45-kg payload into LEO. The Juno name was also applied to the next generation
of space launch vehicles designed by the Army Ballistic
Missile Agency (ABMA), including a proposed Juno V super-booster. Eventually,
the Juno program was transferred to NASA and renamed Saturn.
Thus, the pioneering work of the ABMA, culminating in the successful use
of Juno I and Juno II, led directly to the development of the rockets that
would carry astronauts to the Moon.
AND LAUNCH VEHICLES