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Project Mercury

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<center>[[Image:logo_nasaMercuryatlas9.gifJPG|thumb|right|200px|Mercury-Atlas 9 on the launchpad.]]</center>Started in 1958 and completed in 1963, '''Project Mercury''' was the [[United States]]' first [[human]]-in-[[Outer space|space]] program. The objectives of the program, which made six manned flights from 1961 to 1963, were to orbit a manned spacecraft around [[Earth]], to investigate human ability to function in space, and to recover both man and spacecraft safely. Project Mercury was a success and led to [[Project Gemini]].
== The Mercury Seven ==
The '''Mercury Seven''' were the original seven [[astronauts ]] designated to fly in Project Mercury. They were M. Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, [[John Glenn]], Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter "Wally" Schirra, [[Alan Shepard]], and Donald "Deke" Slayton. Selected for their performance in the [[United_States_Air_ForceUnited States Air Force|Air Force]], several of these pioneer astronauts (including Wally Schirra) flew in all NASA rocket spacecraft - from Mercury to [[Project Gemini|Gemini]] to [[Project Apollo|Apollo]].
The successful mission of [[Apollo 11]] could not have been conducted without their efforts, for which one (Gus Grissom) gave his life in the [[Apollo 1]] tragedy, alongside fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
== Mercury Missions ==
[[Image:Mercuryatlas9.JPG|thumb|right|300px|Mercury-Atlas 9 on the launchpad.]]
{| class="wikitable"
|-
| Mission
| Mission Date
| Notes/Pilot name
|-
| Mercury-Jupiter
| Little Joe 1
| Test of launch escape system during flight.
| August 21st21, 1959
|-
| Big Joe 1
| Test of heat shield and Atlas rocket.
| September 9th9, 1959
|-
| Little Joe 6
| Test of Mercury capsule [[aerodynamics ]] and stability.| October 4th4, 1959
|-
| Little Joe 1A
| Second test of launch escape system during flight.
| November 4th4, 1959
|-
| Little Joe 2
| Carried a [[monkey]] 52.8 miles in altitude.
| December 4th4, 1959
|-
| Little Joe 1B
| Carried a monkey 9.3 miles in altitude
| January 21st21, 1960
|-
| Beach Abort
| Test of the Off-The-Pad abort system.
| May 9th9, 1960
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 1
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| July 29th29, 1960
|-
| Little Joe 5
| First flight of a standard Mercury capsule.
| November 8th8, 1960
|-
| Mercury-Redstone 1
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket. (Failure)
| November 21st21, 1960| The "Popped Cork" Incident
|-
| Mercury-Redstone 1A
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket.
| December 19th19, 1960
|-
| Mercury-Redstone 2
| Carried a [[chimpanzee]] 129.8 miles in altitude.
| January 31st31, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 2
| Second test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| February 21st21, 1961
|-
| Little Joe 5A
| Third test of the launch escape system.
| March 18th18, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Redstone BD
| Redstone rocket upgrade test flight.
| March 24th24, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 3
| Third test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| April 25th25, 1961
|-
| Little Joe 5B
| Fourth test of the launch escape system.
| April 28th28, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 4
| First orbital spaceflight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| September 13th13, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Scout 1
| Test of Mercury tracking network. (Failure)
| November 1st1, 1961
|-
| Mercury-Redstone 3
| Carried first American to make a suborbital flight into space.
| May 5th5, 1961| [[Alan Shepard]]
|-
| Mercury-Redstone 4
| Carried second American to make a suborbital flight into space.
| July 21st21, 1961| [[Virgil I. Grissom]]
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 6
| Carried first American to orbit the Earth.
| February 20th20, 1962| [[John Glenn]]
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 7
| Manned spaceflight-3 orbits.
| May 24th24, 1962| [[Scott Carpenter]]
|-
| Mercury-Atlas 8
| Manned spaceflight-6 orbits.
| October 3rd3, 1962| [[Walter Schirra]]
|-
| Mercury Atlas 9
| Carried first American in space for over a day and last American to fly alone in Earth orbit.
| May 15th15-May 16th16, 1963| [[Gordon Cooper]]
|-
| Mercury 10
|}
[[Donald K. Slayton]] did not fly a Mercury mission. The flight surgeons grounded him for nearly a decade and a half after finding that he suffered from an occasional dysrhythmia of the [[heart]]. The other six astronauts then recommended to NASA administration that the astronaut corps should have a permanent chief, chosen among their number, and chose Slayton to fill that position. Slayton was the only chief that the astronaut corps ever had. He would finally fly the [[Apollo-Soyuz Test Project]] mission in 1975, the last mission flown with [[Project Apollo]] hardware. [[Category:Space ExplorationRace]]
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