Wac Corporal

Wac Corporal

The WAC Corporal was the first sounding rocket developed in the United States. [cite web | url = http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4401/ch2.htm | title = NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968: A Historical Summary, Ch. 2 | publisher = NASA | date = 1971] Begun as a spinoff of the Corporal program, the WAC was a "little sister" to the larger Corporal. It was designed and built jointly by the Douglas Aircraft Company and the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory. [cite web | url = http://www.boeing.com/history/mdc/wac.html | title = WAC Corporal Missile | publisher = Boeing] In a NASA oral history group interview, William Hayward Pickering indicated the WAC "was named after the Women's Army Corps". [cite web | url = http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/kscoralhistory/documents/bumpergroup.pdf | title = Bumper 8 - 50th Anniversary of the First Launch on Cape Canaveral - Group Oral History | publisher = NASA] In the same group interview, Dick Jones suggested it might have been an acronym for "Without Attitude Control" (the rocket lacked a guidance system and relied on three fins for stability).

The WAC Corporal was a liquid-fuel rocket, with fuming nitric acid and aniline used as oxidizers and furfuryl alcohol as fuel. For the first few seconds of launch, the Wac used a cluster of solid fuel Tiny Tim engines.

The first WAC Corporal dummy round was launched on September 16, 1945 from White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, New Mexico. After a White Sands V-2 rocket had reached 69 miles on May 10, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_V-2_test_launches#Launches_of_captured_V-2_rockets_in_the_USA_after_1945] a White Sands WAC Corporal reached 80 km (49 mi) on May 22, 1946 -- the first U.S.-designed rocket to reach the edge of space (under the U.S. definition of space at the time). On February 24, 1949, a Bumper WAC Corporal at White Sands accelerated to 5150 mph to became the first flight of more than five times the speed of sound.Citation
last1 = Canan| first1 = James W
title = A brief history of hypersonics
magazine = Aerospace America |page=p30
date = November 2007 | year = 2007

A few WAC Corporals survive in museums, including one at the National Air and Space Museum and another in the White Sands Missile Range Museum.



Overall dimensions

* Diameter: 1 ft (0.30 m)
* Total length: 24 ft (7.34 m)

Tiny Tim booster

* Loaded weight: 759.2 lb (344.3 kg)
* Propellant weight: 148.7 lb (67.4 kg)
* Thrust: 50,000 lbf (220,000 N] )
* Duration: 0.6 s
* Impulse: 30,000 lbf·s (130,000 N·s)

Wac Corporal sustainer

* Empty weight: 296.7 lb (134.6 kg)
* Loaded weight: 690.7 lb (313.3 kg)
* Thrust: 1,500 lbf (6,700 N)
* Duration: 47 s
* Impulse: 67,000 lbf·s (300,000 N·s)


* Alway, Peter, "Rockets of the World, Third Edition." Saturn Press: Ann Arbor, 1999.

External links

* [http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/wac.htm Astronautix.com article]
* [http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app1/rtv-g-1.html Article from Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles]
* [http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal114/SpaceRace/sec200/sec220.htm Article from National Air and Space Museum]

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