Jupiter was the United States' first intermediate-range ballistic missile. In December, 1955, the Army and Navy announced a dual program to create a land and sea-based intermediate-range ballistic missile. The Jupiter IRBM was designed as a short missile to ease handling aboard ships. At the end of 1956, the IRBM program was transferred to the U.S. Air Force.
The Jupiter missile was used in a series of sub-orbital test flights. The most famous of these was a biological test flight conducted on May 29, 1959. An American-born rhesus monkey named "Able" and a South American squirrel monkey named "Baker" rode in the nosecone of the missile to an altitude of 360 miles and at a top speed of 10,000 miles per hour. Both monkeys survived the flight in good condition and proved that living creatures could pass through space and return safely to earth.
The Jupiter missile on exhibit is 67 feet tall and weighs 11 tons (22,000 pounds) stripped of its internal equipment.
Erected by Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space
Location. 37° 16.372′ N, 79° 56.674′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker is on Norfolk Avenue Southwest, 0.1 miles east of 3rd Street Southwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 217 2nd St SW, Roanoke VA 24011, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Virginia Museum of Transportation / Norfolk and Western Freight Station (a few steps from this marker); Warehouse Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Roanoke Railway and Electric Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Today's Locomotives (within shouting distance of this marker); Commerce or Second Street Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Graham-White Manufacturing Company (about 400 feet away); Norfolk & Western Safety Instruction Car #418 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roanoke.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 62 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.