Difference between revisions of "Project Mercury"

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[[Image:Mercuryatlas9.JPG|thumb|right|200px|Mercury-Atlas 9 on the launchpad.]]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]].
Started in 1958 and completed in 1963, '''Project Mercury''' was the [[United States]]' first [[human]]-in-[[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]].
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== The Mercury Seven ==
 
== 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_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]].
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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 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.
 
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 ==
 
== Mercury Missions ==
[[Image:Mercuryatlas9.JPG|thumb|right|300px|Mercury-Atlas 9 on the launchpad.]]
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
|-
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| Mission
 
| Mission
 
| Mission Date
 
| Mission Date
 +
| Notes/Pilot name
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Jupiter
 
| Mercury-Jupiter
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| Little Joe 1
 
| Little Joe 1
 
| Test of launch escape system during flight.
 
| Test of launch escape system during flight.
| August 21st, 1959
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| August 21, 1959
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Big Joe 1
 
| Big Joe 1
 
| Test of heat shield and Atlas rocket.
 
| Test of heat shield and Atlas rocket.
| September 9th, 1959
+
| September 9, 1959
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 6
 
| Little Joe 6
| Test of Mercury capsule aerodynamics and stability.
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| Test of Mercury capsule [[aerodynamics]] and stability.
| October 4th, 1959
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| October 4, 1959
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 1A
 
| Little Joe 1A
 
| Second test of launch escape system during flight.
 
| Second test of launch escape system during flight.
| November 4th, 1959
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| November 4, 1959
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 2
 
| Little Joe 2
 
| Carried a [[monkey]] 52.8 miles in altitude.
 
| Carried a [[monkey]] 52.8 miles in altitude.
| December 4th, 1959
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| December 4, 1959
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 1B
 
| Little Joe 1B
 
| Carried a monkey 9.3 miles in altitude
 
| Carried a monkey 9.3 miles in altitude
| January 21st, 1960
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| January 21, 1960
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Beach Abort
 
| Beach Abort
 
| Test of the Off-The-Pad abort system.
 
| Test of the Off-The-Pad abort system.
| May 9th, 1960
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| May 9, 1960
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 1
 
| Mercury-Atlas 1
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| July 29th, 1960
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| July 29, 1960
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 5
 
| Little Joe 5
 
| First flight of a standard Mercury capsule.
 
| First flight of a standard Mercury capsule.
| November 8th, 1960
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| November 8, 1960
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone 1
 
| Mercury-Redstone 1
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket. (Failure)
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket. (Failure)
| November 21st, 1960
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| November 21, 1960
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| The "Popped Cork" Incident
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone 1A
 
| Mercury-Redstone 1A
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket.
 
| First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket.
| December 19th, 1960
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| December 19, 1960
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone 2
 
| Mercury-Redstone 2
 
| Carried a [[chimpanzee]] 129.8 miles in altitude.
 
| Carried a [[chimpanzee]] 129.8 miles in altitude.
| January 31st, 1961
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| January 31, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 2
 
| Mercury-Atlas 2
 
| Second test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.  
 
| Second test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.  
| February 21st, 1961
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| February 21, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 5A
 
| Little Joe 5A
 
| Third test of the launch escape system.
 
| Third test of the launch escape system.
| March 18th, 1961
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| March 18, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone BD
 
| Mercury-Redstone BD
 
| Redstone rocket upgrade test flight.
 
| Redstone rocket upgrade test flight.
| March 24th, 1961
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| March 24, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 3
 
| Mercury-Atlas 3
 
| Third test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
 
| Third test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| April 25th, 1961
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| April 25, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Little Joe 5B
 
| Little Joe 5B
 
| Fourth test of the launch escape system.
 
| Fourth test of the launch escape system.
| April 28th, 1961
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| April 28, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 4
 
| Mercury-Atlas 4
 
| First orbital spaceflight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
 
| First orbital spaceflight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket.
| September 13th, 1961
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| September 13, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Scout 1
 
| Mercury-Scout 1
 
| Test of Mercury tracking network. (Failure)
 
| Test of Mercury tracking network. (Failure)
| November 1st, 1961
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| November 1, 1961
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone 3
 
| Mercury-Redstone 3
 
| Carried first American to make a suborbital flight into space.
 
| Carried first American to make a suborbital flight into space.
| May 5th, 1961
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| May 5, 1961
 +
| [[Alan Shepard]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Redstone 4
 
| Mercury-Redstone 4
 
| Carried second American to make a suborbital flight into space.
 
| Carried second American to make a suborbital flight into space.
| July 21st, 1961
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| July 21, 1961
 +
| [[Virgil I. Grissom]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 6
 
| Mercury-Atlas 6
 
| Carried first American to orbit the Earth.
 
| Carried first American to orbit the Earth.
| February 20th, 1962
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| February 20, 1962
 +
| [[John Glenn]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 7
 
| Mercury-Atlas 7
 
| Manned spaceflight-3 orbits.
 
| Manned spaceflight-3 orbits.
| May 24th, 1962
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| May 24, 1962
 +
| [[Scott Carpenter]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury-Atlas 8
 
| Mercury-Atlas 8
 
| Manned spaceflight-6 orbits.
 
| Manned spaceflight-6 orbits.
| October 3rd, 1962
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| October 3, 1962
 +
| [[Walter Schirra]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury Atlas 9
 
| Mercury Atlas 9
 
| Carried first American in space for over a day and last American to fly alone in Earth orbit.
 
| Carried first American in space for over a day and last American to fly alone in Earth orbit.
| May 15th-May 16th, 1963
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| May 15-May 16, 1963
 +
| [[Gordon Cooper]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Mercury 10
 
| Mercury 10
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|}
 
|}
  
[[Category:Space Exploration]]
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[[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.
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[[Category:Space Race]]

Latest revision as of 22:58, 26 June 2016

Mercury-Atlas 9 on the launchpad.
Started in 1958 and completed in 1963, Project Mercury was the United States' first human-in-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 Air Force, several of these pioneer astronauts (including Wally Schirra) flew in all NASA rocket spacecraft - from Mercury to Gemini to 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

Project Mercury Designation Mission Mission Date Notes/Pilot name
Mercury-Jupiter Test of Jupiter missile. Cancelled
Little Joe 1 Test of launch escape system during flight. August 21, 1959
Big Joe 1 Test of heat shield and Atlas rocket. September 9, 1959
Little Joe 6 Test of Mercury capsule aerodynamics and stability. October 4, 1959
Little Joe 1A Second test of launch escape system during flight. November 4, 1959
Little Joe 2 Carried a monkey 52.8 miles in altitude. December 4, 1959
Little Joe 1B Carried a monkey 9.3 miles in altitude January 21, 1960
Beach Abort Test of the Off-The-Pad abort system. May 9, 1960
Mercury-Atlas 1 First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket. July 29, 1960
Little Joe 5 First flight of a standard Mercury capsule. November 8, 1960
Mercury-Redstone 1 First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket. (Failure) November 21, 1960 The "Popped Cork" Incident
Mercury-Redstone 1A First test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone rocket. December 19, 1960
Mercury-Redstone 2 Carried a chimpanzee 129.8 miles in altitude. January 31, 1961
Mercury-Atlas 2 Second test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket. February 21, 1961
Little Joe 5A Third test of the launch escape system. March 18, 1961
Mercury-Redstone BD Redstone rocket upgrade test flight. March 24, 1961
Mercury-Atlas 3 Third test flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket. April 25, 1961
Little Joe 5B Fourth test of the launch escape system. April 28, 1961
Mercury-Atlas 4 First orbital spaceflight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas rocket. September 13, 1961
Mercury-Scout 1 Test of Mercury tracking network. (Failure) November 1, 1961
Mercury-Redstone 3 Carried first American to make a suborbital flight into space. May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard
Mercury-Redstone 4 Carried second American to make a suborbital flight into space. July 21, 1961 Virgil I. Grissom
Mercury-Atlas 6 Carried first American to orbit the Earth. February 20, 1962 John Glenn
Mercury-Atlas 7 Manned spaceflight-3 orbits. May 24, 1962 Scott Carpenter
Mercury-Atlas 8 Manned spaceflight-6 orbits. October 3, 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 15-May 16, 1963 Gordon Cooper
Mercury 10 3 day manned spaceflight mission. Cancelled

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.