National Geographic : 1958 Oct
TECHNOLOGY FLIGHT IN THREE MEDIUMS Several things set the Polaris apart from other outer space weapons in the ballistic missile cate gory, for the Polaris program involves a wholly new concept of weaponry. 1. It will be dispatched from beneath the surface of the sea. 2. It will be radically smaller than currently developed land-launched missiles, yet its pay load will be as effective and its range the same as other IRBMs. 3. It will be the first operational outer space mis sile to employ solid fuel as a propellant. 4. It will travel through three mediums in a single flight: water, air, outer space. 5. Its launching base-a submarine-is not fixed but a mobile vehicle. OUTER SPACE PROGRAM Very little can be said about the Earth Satellite program at this time except that its success will necessitate advancing the state of the art in all sciences. The Earth Satellite Project is perhaps the most sophisticated outer space program to reach the "hardware" stage in the U.S. today. ENEMY SIMULATOR The Kingfisher is the nation's fastest target mis sile, developed for the Air Force and currently being manufactured for the Army to test the accuracy of our newest supersonic weapons. It is a ramjet target vehicle with Mach 2-plus capabilities. The Kingfisher not only has speed to match the defensive missiles, but can also sim ulate a vast array of supersonic enemy missiles and airplanes attacking from great height. It is instrumented to score near misses and even theoretical hits without itself being destroyed. It is recoverable from flight by parachute to be flown again, permitting weapon system evalua tion to be conducted at greatly reduced cost.