My Little Joe II

littleJoe-A-004 My Little Joe II

I received a second Semroc Little Joe II for Christmas this year. The Semroc Little Joe II is based on the A-001 mission.In the second build I decided to build it like the A-004 mission.The Little Joe II was a rocket built between 1963-1966 to test the escape system for the Apollo program and also to test the landing of the command module capsule.The Little Joe II had 5 missions: QTV, A-001,A-002,A-003,and A-004.
Here is a chart of the mission statistics.

Launch configuration summary

Item QTV A-001 A-002 A-003 A-004
Launch weight 25,930 kg 26,281 kg 42,788 kg 80,372 kg 63,381 kg
Payload 10,988 kg 11,492 kg 12,561 kg 12,626 kg 14,717 kg
Airframe weight 14,942 kg 14,785 kg 29,320 kg 67,745 kg 48,623 kg
Liftoff thrust 49 kN 49 kN 1,600 kN 1,395 kN 1,766 kN
Fin – fixed/control F F C C C
1st stage Recruit 6 6 4 0 5
1st stage Algol 1 1 2 3 2
2nd stage Algol 0 0 0 3 2

There were two anomalies during the missions.
-In the QTV(Qualifying Test Vehicle) the destruct mechanism failed after a successful flight.
-A-003 “At approximately one second after liftoff, the Fin IV elevon moved in a direction to cause the observed clockwise rotation and at 2.5 seconds reached the fully deflected position where it remained until vehicle breakup.”
The Semroc Little Joe II is a wonderful build for those of you seeking a more challenging rocket model. I highly reccommend reading these threads (LJ II, Saturn 1B -tower info) before preceding. Take special care and time in building the launch tower. The struts require patience and great dexterity.
Here are some reference links on the Little Joe II

Astronautix info
George Gassaway’s page
Centuri Historical Information Brochure
A-004 image

Kits available
Semroc Little Joe II
Sheri’s Hot Rocket’s 1/30 scale
There is a free downloadable paper model available from the links on my Ultimate Paper Rocket Guide page

*****A great video of a 1/3 scale Little Joe II flown at Plaster Blaster 2006. The rocket weighed 560+ pounds!!!*****

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3 Responses to My Little Joe II

  1. JayJay says:

    I am building the Semroc Little Joe II also.
    What if anything did you do extra to get such a nice looking rocket?
    Tips,hints, etc…..
    Thanks in advance.

  2. rocketry says:

    The biggest suggestion I can make is take your time with the build. It will give you time to contemplate what your next steps should be. If you are curious about my finishing techniques , check the link to the right on “How to finish a rocket”
    I also research real rockets before building so that I can get some ideas for the paint scheme etc.

  3. Pingback: Little Joe II and the Apollo Launch Abort System « The Rocketry Blog

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