This is the Jupiter, the U.S.'s first intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), which could carry a nuclear warhead 1,500-miles. In 1958 the Jupiter also was used to carry a monkey named Gordo to test the affects of acceleration on a living organism. The animal showed no known adverse efects. In another test, in 1959, a Jupiter carred two living passengers, the monkeys Able and Baker, up to a 300 mile altitude. They were safely recovered.
Fitted with solid-fuel upper stages, it was also used as a launch vehicle named the Juno II that orbited the Explorer 3 and 8 satellites. The Juno II also launched the Pioneer 3 and 4 Pioneer space probes. This Jupiter rocket was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1980 from the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center.
Transferred from NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center