posted 07-27-2006 02:45 PM
Originally posted by nasamad:
I seem to recall reading that it was breaking up due to atmospheric heating melting the nose cone.
I think Von Braun had one shot at himself so he could observe it to solve the problem !
As I recall my reading they eventually added some insulation around some of the LOX tubing. The idea was to prevent other components from becoming chilled.
The result was a string of successes making them think the problem was licked. But then the breakups began happening again.
My recollection is that the above information came from Gen. Dornberger's book "V-2: The Nazi Rocket Weapon."
I also recall reading about Von Braun heading to the target area in Poland to observe the descents. That was probably mentioned in Michael Neufeld's "The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemunde."
Something else they did in order to observe and understand the problem was to launch A-4s from the Oie straight up at night during or shortly after twilight. The rockets would travel up and into the sunlight more than 100 miles up where they managed to achieve new altitude records for the time. Then they would stall and plummet straight down.
Because of the rotation of the earth the rockets would land a mile or so toward the west off the coast. This was mentioned by Dornberger and also by Dieter Huzel in his book "Peenemunde to Canaveral." Both men were eye witnesses at those test flights.