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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First

 
 
Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 5, 2019
1. Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First Marker
Inscription.  

Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First
A rocket similar to this one-stage rocket, nicknamed Little Joe II, was used from 1963 to 1966 to test the Apollo/Saturn V Launch Escape System (LES). The LES was designed to propel the crew capsule to safety in the event of a rocket failure during launch.

The capsule on display is boilerplate BP-22 used for structural testing on the launch pad. It’s attached to Service Module SM-102.

The Apollo capsule boilerplate (BP-22) atop this rocket survived an explosion. During an LES test, the rocket unexpectedly broke up 25 seconds after liftoff at 14,000 feet (4,300 m). The LES detected the malfunction, ejecting BP-22 to 19,000 feet (5,800 m) – away from the dangerous explosion. Parachutes lowered the boilerplate safely to the ground. The unplanned malfunction demonstrated that the Launch Escape System performed successfully. It represented an important safety milestone in the Apollo program.

Little Joe II was named after “Little Joe,” a similar four-finned test rocket for Project Mercury, pictured left. Mercury spacecraft designer Max Faget coined the name
Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First Marker, attached to the Service Module image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 5, 2019
2. Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First Marker, attached to the Service Module
based on the similar appearance in a cross section of the motor configuration and four large fins of the rocket to a roll of four (“little Joe on the front row”) in the dice game Craps.
 
Location. 29° 33.282′ N, 95° 5.618′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is on Second Street just south of Avenue D, on the left when traveling south. The marker is at NASA Johnson Space Center, payment is required for entry. The markers can normally only be seen as part of a guided tour. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77058, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Little Joe II (here, next to this marker); Mercury-Redstone: Putting the First Americans in Space (a few steps from this marker); H-1 Engine: A Powerful Start (a few steps from this marker); F-1 Engine: Power for the Rocket (within shouting distance of this marker); J-2 Engine: Versatile Sidekick (within shouting distance of this marker); Saturn V Rocket (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Apollo Mission Control Center (approx. 0.4 miles away); West Mansion (was approx. 1.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
 
Categories. Air & SpaceScience & Medicine
 
Little Joe II and BP-22 image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 5, 2019
3. Little Joe II and BP-22
 

More. Search the internet for Little Joe II and BP-22: Safety First.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 16, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 16, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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