The Space Gallery

Republic Terrapin (replica)

Farmingdale, 1956

Long Island's only scientific research rocket was the Terrapin, developed in the 1950's for high-altitude research. It was developed as a two-stage light-weight, low-cost, high-performance vehicle. On its first firing, in July 1956 from Wallops Island, Virginia, it raced 80 miles into space at a speed of 3800 mph, sending back scientific data by radio. Carrying six pounds of scientific instruments, it took only 5.6 minutes to complete its one-way missions. Both the missile and its collapsible launcher could be transported in a station wagon, and set up and fired by three men. Terrapins were used to obtain data on the Earth's upper atmosphere which was necessary in order to properly plan future spacecraft.

Length: 15'
Diameter: 6"
Engine: 2 Thiokol solid-propellant
Top Speed: 3800 mph
Weight: 225 lbs