John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are household names in the US. But on May 5th, we remember the less-talked-about Alan Shepard, the first American to make it to outer space. And the rocket that got him there.
On May 5, 1961, the 25m tall Mercury-Redstone 3 hurtled Shepard toward space with 35,000kg of thrust at sea level, powered by ethyl alcohol and liquid oxygen. Really just a space-worthy version of the US Army’s Redstone liquid-fueled ballistic missile, the 30,000kg lug at its best could travel at almost seven times the speed of sound (8277km/h) with a peak acceleration of 108 m/s2.
(Of course, that totally pales in comparison to the rockets of today – each of the pair of Solid Rocket Boosters weighs 590,000kg at launch and generates 1.27 million kilograms of thrust at sea level).
Monster Machines is all about the most exceptional machines in the world, from massive gadgets of destruction to tiny machines of precision, and everything in between.