In the course of its maiden voyage in might 1962, a Centaur higher degree rocket, mated to an At l a sb o o s t e r, exploded fifty four seconds after release, engulfing the rocket in an incredible fireball. In ve s t i g a t i o nre vealed that Centaur’s gentle, chrome steel tank had break up open, spilling its liquid-hyd rogen fueld personal its aspects, the place the flame of the rocket exhaust instantly ignited it. Coming much less thana yr after President Kennedy had made touchdown humans at the Moon a countrywide p r i o r i t y, the lack of Centaur used to be considered as a major setback for the nationwide Aeronautics and area management (NASA). through the failure research, Homer Newell, Di rector of house Sciences, ruefully declared: “Taming liquid hydrogen to the purpose the place pricey oper-ational house missions might be devoted to it has grew to become out to be tougher than a person intended on the outset.”
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