Nohing But The Facts About the Mercury Space Program - by John Sinitsky

Nohing But The Facts About the Mercury Space Program - by John Sinitsky
Page content

Project Mercury Images

Mercury Capsule

Mercury-Atlas 6 launch

7 Mercury astronauts

The Facts

Project Years: The Mercury Program operated from 1959 to 1965.

Primary Mission Objective: Put a human into orbit

Secondary Mission Objectives: Test human ability to perform in space, recover the crew and spacecraft safely

Goal Achieved: April, 20 1962 (Mercury 6)

Name Origin: Mercury – Roman mythological God, famous for his speed

Program Cost: 384 million dollars – equivalent to 2.7 billion (2007)

Spacecraft Crew: one pilot

Spacecraft Designed By: Max Faget and other ex-German rocket engineers

Spacecraft Dimensions: Height 11.51ft (3.51 meter), Diameter 6.2 ft (1.89m), Volume 60 cubic feet (1.7 cubic meters)

Spacecraft Weight: Launch 4265 lb (1935kg) Orbit 2986lb (1354kg) Landing 2421 lb (1098kg) – data for first orbital flight, Mercury-Atlas 6

Spacecraft: max time in space – 34 hours

Spacecraft Orbital Apogee: 175 miles (282 km)

Spacecraft Orbital Perigee: 100 miles (160 km)

Boosters: Little Joe (testing), Redstone (suborbital flights), Atlas (orbital flights)

Total Spacecraft Produced: 20, by McDonnel Aircraft company

Robotic Flights: 20

Other Unmanned Flights: 4 (2 macaque – Sam, Miss Sam, 2 chimpanzee – Ham Enos)

First Unmanned Flight: December 4, 1959

First Unmanned Flight Duration: 11 minutes, 6 seconds

First Unmanned Flight Crew: Sam the monkey

Manned Flights: 6

First Manned Flight (Sub-orbital): May 5,1961

First Manned Flight Duration: 15 minutes 28 seconds

First Manned Flight Mission: Mercury-Restone 3

First Manned Flight Callsign: Freedom 7

First Manned Flight Crew: Alan Barlett Shepard, Jr. – first American in Space

First Orbital Flight: February 20, 1962

First Orbital Flight Duration: 4 hours, 55 minutes 23seconds

First Orbital Flight Mission: Mercury-Atlas 6

First Orbital Flight Callsign: Friendship 7

First Orbital Flight Crew: John Herschek Glenn, Jr.. – first American to reach orbit

Last Flight: May 15, 1963

Last Flight Duration: 1 day 10 hours 19 minutes 49 seconds

Last Flight Mission: Mercury-Atlas 9

Last Flight Callsign: Faith 7

Last Flight Crew: Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, Jr. – first Amecrican to stay in orbit over a day. Last American to orbit the Earth alone.

Interesting data

The Mercury program was the first major task the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA took on.

The “Astro” knife was designed for and by Mercury astronauts by Randall knife company.

The last 3 Mercury missions (Mercury-Atlas 10,11,12) were cancelled for various reasons.