Jupiter IRBM System Operation

Immediately after the launch control officer pressed the firing button, the main engine roared into life. It burned for 157.8 seconds, boosting the missile to a speed of Mach 15.4 and an altitude of 73 miles. Two seconds after the main engine burned out and fell away, the solid-fuel vernier motor fired. The vernier burned for approximately 12 seconds until the missile reached the desired velocity, whereupon the engine shut down and detached from the reentry vehicle. Almost 10 minutes into the flight the missile, now 800 miles from its launch point and soaring at an altitude of 384 miles, reached the apogee of its elliptical flight path. From there it began its gradual descent toward the target. Total flight time from takeoff to impact: 15 1/2 minutes.