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Space History Photo: Little Joe Launch Vehicle

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Little Joe's launch vehicle was launched for the first time on Oct. 4, 1959. (Image credit: NASA | Chris Cohen)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the launching of the Little Joe launch vehicle, on October 4, 1959, took place at Wallops Island, Va. This was the first attempt to launch an instrumented capsule with a Little Joe booster.

Only the LJ1A and the LJ6 used the space metal/chevron plates as heat reflector shields, as they kept shattering. Little Joe was used to test various components of the Mercury spacecraft, such as the emergency escape rockets.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

 

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov