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Unmanned Mission
A-004 (16)

WSMR () 
Little Joe II 

Mission Objective

Abort Qualification Program high altitude abort test


January 20, 1966  08:17:01 a.m. EST.

NASA had hoped to finish the Little Joe II abort qualification program by the end of 1965, but on 17 December the Flight Readiness Board refused to accept the booster and canceled a launch set for the next day. A month later, at 8:15 am on 1/20/66, the last Little Joe II headed toward an altitude of 24 kilometers and a downrange distance of 14 kilometers. Then, as designed, the launch vehicle started to tumble; the launch escape system sensed trouble and fired its abort rocket, carrying the command module away from impending disaster.


Altitude: 22.6 km 
Inclination: xxx degrees 
Orbits: (suborbital) 
Duration: Days, hours, min, seconds 
Distance: 34.63 km downrange


January 20, 1966

Mission Highlights

All went well, the launch, the test conditions, the telemetry, the spacecraft and postflight analysis. The spacecraft windows picked up too much soot from the tower jettison motor, but the structure remained intact. Little Joe II was honorably retired, its basic purpose - making sure the launch escape and earth landing systems could protect the astronauts in either emergency or normal operations -- accomplished. 





Block I production model 002


01/20/66 - Launch, White Sands Missile Range

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