The Alpha Draco was a boost-glide research rocket developed by McDonnell
Aircraft in 1957. This two-stage vehicle was topped with an unpowered reentry
vehicle, and was used to investigate the feasibility of a boost-glide missile.
The two solid boosters would loft the reentry vehicle to 100,000 ft. On its way
down, the reentry vehicle would reach speeds in excess of Mach 5 before
plummeting to the ground approximately 240 miles downrange from its launch
Only three Alpha Draco launches were attempted at Cape Canaveral; all
were in 1959, and all took place at Complex 10. Two of the launches succeeded.
As you can see in the photo to the left, the Alpha Draco was launched from a
mobile trailer (originally developed for the Honest John missile). The mobile
service tower is visible to the left, in its retracted launch position.
only hard structure evident in the photo at left is a wall. It was razed to make
way for Complex 31, though the foundation may still be seen today.
|Alpha Draco specifications
||46 ft., 1 in.
||1 Thiokol TX-20
||1 Thiokol TX-30