Hermes RV-A 10
In the middle of the second world war work was started on developing larger solid rockets for jet-assisted takeoff (JATO). CALCIT/JPL in California developed a solid rocket based on asphalt mixed with an oxidizer. Further development work to the using of a polysulfide rubber manufactured by a company called Thiokol instead af asphalt.
In 1949 JPL tryed to scale up their rockets to develope a solid rocket with a diameter of 15 inches – the rocket was named sergeant. In 1950 the programme was cancelled because cracks in the internal structure of the solid rocket led to explosions.
In the meantime Thiokol went in to developing rockets of their own. They had showed, that they were able to design large solid-propellant rockets like the falcon missile.
This was the reason, that they in 1950 became subcontractors for General electric in the developement of a large 31 inch solid rocket the Hermes A-2 later renamed as the Hermes RV-A 10. JPL was also participating in this projekt.
JPL was also participating in this projekt.
General Electric was running the Hermes programme for the U.S. army. The Hermes programme involved research in different kind of rockets including American derivatives of the V-2 rocket, the german wasserfall rocket and predecessors of the redstone missile.
After 22 static test firings, the first Hermes R-VA 10 was launched in February 1953 followed by further 3 launches of the rocket. The Hermes RV-A 10 was newer developed in to a missile, but it had proved, that it was possible to manufacture large solid rockets of almost any size. The Hermes RV-A 10 was therefore a significant step on the road leading to solid fuelled missiles like the minute man, and also to the large boosters, that we know from Titan 3C and the space shuttle.
Thanks to Peter Alway for a second opinion on the nozzle configuration. Also thanks to Eric Truax for helping with determinating the rigth color.
Rockets of the world by Peter Always.
History of solid-propellant rocketry - What we do and do not know
Test of a Hermes A-2 missile body at mach number 4.04
From Polymers to Propellants to Rockets - A History of Thiokol - AIAA 99-2929