Science: Juno's Gold Cone

It was a clear, calm night at Cape Canaveral. The Army, making its first attempt to shoot the moon, had spent weeks fussing over the Juno II, a 60-ton Jupiter IRBM with a spike of high-speed rockets mounted on its nose. At twelve seconds after 12:45 a.m., almost exactly on schedule, Juno II took off. It climbed loudly but smoothly, arching slightly north of east. For about three minutes the first-stage rocket burned brightly, diminishing slowly with distance. Then its power shut off, and the upper stages coasted flameless for 55 seconds. About 110...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!