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  Space Cover 81: Mt. Palomar and V-2 Test

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 81: Mt. Palomar and V-2 Test
stevedd841
Member

Posts: 164
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 10-31-2010 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 81 (October 31, 2010)

An early Historic Aeronautics Association space cover is shown for the first night rocket test of a V-2 rocket conducted at White Sands Proving Ground. The cover is cancelled at Palomar Mountain, California, December 17, 1946, the night of the test. Mount Palomar observers actively participate in this important V-2 rocket test involving major U.S. universities, the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, and commercial industry.

Space Cover #81: Mount Palomar and V-2 Rocket Test, December 17, 1946

The V-2 rocket test was conducted by Wernher von Braun team members, U.S. Army ordnance personnel, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Aerojet Engineering Corporation, the California Institute of Technology, University of New Mexico, and Johns Hopkins University scientists at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, December 17, 1946. The test was the first night test in America of a German V-2 rocket, number 17, drawn from a very limited test inventory of only 35 rockets salvaged and then rebuilt from German V-2 rockets captured in Europe at the end of World War II.

The night of December 17th, the V-2 rocket majestically thundered off its launch pad at 10:18 pm local time over White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico. Scientists anticipated the test would be seen 688 miles away using the Mount Palomar observatory's 18-inch telescope on Palomar Mountain, California, and this was included in the test. An enveloping low cloud cover on the eastern horizon, however, prevented Palomar staff from seeing the test, although the test was closely tracked by observatory personnel using the observatory's 8-inch Schmidt telescope positioned at White Sands Proving Ground for the test.

The scope of the rocket test was ambitious and very different from previous tests to date. It included a cosmic radiation test, biological test, and a shaped-charge (artificial) meteorite test. Scientists anticipated the artificial meteorite test would be observed as a man-made meteor shower and also would allow them to scientifically observe a test originating in the upper atmosphere.

The successful test of V-2 rocket number 17 set an American record in obtaining a true space altitude of 111 miles and a record rocket velocity of 5,350 feet per second. This important test involving leading scientists from U.S. universities, the Military, and the public sector would also establish the methodology and key participants for future V-2 rocket scientific tests and for subsequent tests to be conducted using U.S. rockets as test vehicles when the German V-2 test rocket inventory was expended.

And, Boo! A Happy Halloween to you, too!

Steve Durst, SU 4379

bobslittlebro
Member

Posts: 94
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 10-31-2010 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great cover!

stevedd841
Member

Posts: 164
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 10-31-2010 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for your email, Tim! There are two versions of this early V-2 rocket related cover, the one seen above, and another one by the Historic Aeronautics Association with the same cachet but with a Las Cruces, New Mexico cancel, and another great space cover.

Tom and I used to stop and pick up Bob at his place on our way to ChicagoPex for the stamp show held around Thanksgiving ever since I can remember. I still think about those rides from Northville to Chicago we used to take and called them "rocket rides" for a reason. I have fond memories of Bob and loved the conversations we used to have talking all the way to Chicago. Of course if one of us found a great space cover at the stamp show it would be the highlight of the trip and one of the four of us would usually find something to crow about and talk about all the way home. With very fond memories, I miss Bob, and am glad to finally cross paths with you! With special thanks also to Tom for mentioning to me earlier that you were on collectSPACE.com.

bobslittlebro
Member

Posts: 94
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 11-01-2010 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Steve,That's really cool to hear. Bob always really enjoyed going to Chicago with you space geeks. He would always tell me about the fun he had and the great covers everybody would get. He really thought the world of you and Tom and the good times. Collecting spacecovers/autographs was a real passion of his followed by deer hunting. I know it was always an interesting trip especially with Bobs wacky sense of humor. Thanks for the memories. He was a great brother and my best friend.Tim

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