Juno II

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This article is about the launch vehicle. For other uses, see Juno (disambiguation).
Juno II
Juno II rocket.jpg
Launch of a Juno II
Function Expendable launch system
Manufacturer Chrysler for the ABMA
Country of origin United States
Cost per launch US$10.83m
Height 24.0m (78.7ft)
Diameter 2.67m (8.76ft)
Mass 55,110kg (121,500lb)
Stages 3-4
Payload to
41kg (90lb)
Payload to
Sub-orbital TLI
6kg (13lb)
Associated rockets
Family Jupiter
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites LC-5 & LC-26B, CCAFS
Total launches 10
Successes 4
Failures 5
Partial failures 1
First flight 1958-12-06
Last flight 1961-05-24
Notable payloads See text

Juno II was an American space launch vehicle used during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was derived from the Jupiter missile, which was used as the first stage.


Rocket motors derived from the MGM-29 Sergeant were used as upper stages—eleven for the second stage, three for the third stage, and one for the fourth stage—the same configuration as used for the upper stages of the smaller Juno I rocket. On some launches to low Earth orbit the fourth stage was not flown, allowing the rocket to carry an additional nine kilograms of payload.

Chrysler was responsible for the overall contract, while Rocketdyne handled the first stage propulsion and Jet Propulsion Laboratory handled the upper stage propulsion.


The Juno II was used for 10 satellite launches, of which six failed. It launched Pioneer 3, Pioneer 4, Explorer 7, Explorer 8, and Explorer 11 from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 5 and Launch Complex 26B.

Date/Time (GMT) Serial N° Stages Pad Payload Outcome Remarks
1958-12-06, 05:44 AM-11 4 LC-5 Pioneer 3 Partial failure High sub-orbital launch. Lunar probe, failed to reach Moon due to premature first stage cutoff. Radiation experiments successful.
1959-03-03, 05:10 AM-14 4 LC-5 Pioneer 4 Successful High sub-orbital launch. Lunar probe.
1959-07-16, 17:37 AM-16 LC-5 Explorer S-1 Failure A shorted diode caused loss of power to the guidance system and almost immediate control failure at liftoff. Destroyed by RSO at T+5 seconds.
1959-08-15, 00:31 AM-19B LC-26B Beacon 2 Failure Premature first stage cutoff. Failed to orbit.
1959-10-13, 15:30 AM-19A 3 LC-5 Explorer 7 Successful Reached low Earth orbit
1960-03-23, 13:35 AM-19C 3 LC-26B Explorer S-46 Failure Third stage failed to ignite. Failed to orbit
1960-11-03, 05:23 AM-19D 3 LC-26B Explorer 8 Successful Reached low Earth orbit
1961-02-25, 00:13 AM-19F LC-26B Explorer S-45 Failure Third stage failed to ignite. Failed to orbit
1961-04-27, 14:16 AM-19E LC-26B Explorer 11 Successful Reached low Earth orbit
1961-05-24, 19:48 AM-19G LC-26B Explorer S-45A Failure Second stage failed to ignite. Failed to orbit


Juno II at Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center
  • Total length: 24.0 m
  • Orbit payload to 200 km: 41 kg
  • Escape velocity payload: 6 kg
  • First launch date: December 6, 1958
  • Last launch date: May 24, 1961
Parameter 1st stage 2nd stage 3rd stage 4th stage
Gross mass 54,431 kg 462 kg 126 kg 42 kg
Empty mass 5,443 kg 231 kg 63 kg 21 kg
Thrust 667 kN 73 kN 20 kN 7 kN
Isp 248 s
(2.43 kN·s/kg)
214 s
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
214 s
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
214 s
(2.10 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 182 s 6 s 6 s 6 s
Length 18.28 m 1.0 m 1.0 m 1.0 m
Diameter 2.67 m 1.0 m 0.50 m 0.30 m
Engine: Rocketdyne S-3D Eleven Sergents Three Sergents One Sergent
Propellant LOX/RP-1 Solid Fuel Solid Fuel Solid fuel

See also[edit]

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