What Is A Mercury Capsule?

What is a Mercury capsule? The Mercury spacecraft was designed to carry one man alone into outer space and return him safely. It was cone-shaped -- 6.8 feet (2 m) long, 6.2 feet (1.9 m) in diameter at the base -- with a small cylinder on top.

What were the names of the Mercury capsules?

Mercury Program

Name Launch Date Crew
Liberty Bell 7 21 JUL 1961 Virgil "Gus" Grissom
Friendship 7 20 FEB 1962 John H. Glenn, Jr.
Aurora 7 24 MAY 1962 M. Scott Carpenter
Sigma 7 3 OCT 1962 Walter M. Schirra, Jr.

What was the Mercury capsule made of?

The Mercury spacecraft consisted of only one module, the manned capsule, and had the shape of a truncated cone. Its nickel-alloy pressure vessel had an outer shell of titanium for protection against the heat of reentry. A special heat shield on the base was made of an ablative material.

What company made the Mercury capsule?

The Mercury space capsule was produced by McDonnell Aircraft, and carried supplies of water, food and oxygen for about one day in a pressurized cabin. Mercury flights were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on launch vehicles modified from the Redstone and Atlas D missiles.

Where is the Friendship 7 capsule now?

The Friendship 7 capsule is now displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Learn more about the groundbreaking Friendship 7 mission here and see an artifact from the mission in Starship Gallery when you visit the center.

Related faq for What Is A Mercury Capsule?

Who named Freedom 7?

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space in this Mercury capsule. He named it "Freedom 7," the number signifying the seven Mercury astronauts; NASA called the mission Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3).

Was the Liberty 7 capsule ever recovered?

Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 flight (sub-orbital) took place on July 21, 1961, and only lasted 15 minutes. The spacecraft was recovered on July 20, 1999— the 30th anniversary of Man walking on the Moon!

What were the 6 Mercury missions?


mission crew dates
Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7) Alan Shepard May 5, 1961
Mercury-Redstone 4 (Liberty Bell 7) Virgil Grissom July 21, 1961
Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7) John Glenn Feb. 20, 1962
Mercury-Atlas 7 (Aurora 7) Scott Carpenter May 24, 1962

What did the Mercury 7 do?

In 1959, John Glenn was selected as a Project Mercury astronaut. On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn blasted into space aboard Mercury's Friendship 7 capsule, then traveled around the planet three times, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.

What was the name of John Glenn's capsule?

Cockpit of the Mercury Friendship 7

In this historic capsule, John H. Glenn Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Who died in the Mercury program?

27 January 1967; Apollo 1 - Astronauts Roger Chaffee, Virgil Grissom (Mercury 4 and Gemini 3), and Edward White (Gemini 4) were killed at Cape Kennedy during a training exercise for the Apollo 1 mission. The crew died as a result of a fire within the spacecraft cabin.

Who were the first 3 Mercury astronauts?

Group members

Name Born
John Herschel Glenn Jr. Cambridge, Ohio, July 18, 1921
Virgil Ivan (Gus) Grissom Mitchell, Indiana, April 3, 1926
Walter Marty (Wally) Schirra Jr. Hackensack, New Jersey, March 12, 1923
Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. Derry, New Hampshire, November 18, 1923

Where are the Mercury capsules now?

National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.

What did Alan Shepard do on the moon?

At age 47, he became the fifth, the oldest, and the earliest-born person to walk on the Moon, and the only one of the Mercury Seven astronauts to do so. During the mission, he hit two golf balls on the lunar surface.

Where did John Glenn's capsule land?

Each capsule in the Mercury series weighed about 1,400 kg (3,000 pounds). The first U.S. crewed flight in orbit was that of the Friendship 7, commanded by John H. Glenn, Jr. Launched on February 20, 1962, it successfully completed three orbits and landed in the Atlantic Ocean near The Bahamas.

Do astronauts have code names?

The code names were: Apollo 9-"Gumdrop" (CSM), "Spider" (LM); Apollo 10-"Charlie Brown" (CSM), "Snoopy" (LM); Apollo 11-"Columbia" (CSM), "Eagle" (LM); Apollo 12-"Yankee Clipper" (CSM), "Intrepid" (LM); Apollo 13-"Odyssey" (CSM), "Aquarius" (LM); Apollo 14-"Kitty Hawk" (CSM), "Antares" (LM); Apollo 15-"Endeavour" (CSM)

How much did Freedom 7 cost?

He was then flown to Grand Bahama Island for several days of tests. His $400 million mission had cost each U.S. taxpayer $2.25, and Shepard himself received an extra $14.38 in naval flight pay.

What did John Glenn see in space?

During the first of Glenn's three orbits, he reported seeing a series of small particles floating outside his capsule. As he reported to NASA, he had never seen anything like it, and he thought it looked like a series of luminescent stars surrounding him.

Was the second Mercury capsule recovered?

After 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Canaveral, Florida, Gus Grissom's Mercury space capsule was reeled in Tuesday by an underwater salvage team and lifted aboard ship. It's all sealed up and we're heading back to Florida.

What happened to Grissom's capsule?

Grissom's capsule, Liberty Bell 7, sank after the successful splashdown in the Atlantic, and Grissom came close to drowning. The six Mercury flights from 1961-1963 produced several nerve-racking moments, but Grissom's was the only one that came close to killing an astronaut. Gus Grissom suits up for his spaceflight.

Did any Mercury missions fail?

Fifty-two years ago this month, NASA launched Mercury-Atlas 3 (MA-3). While technically a flight test failure, the mission had the unexpected consequence of successfully demonstrating the Mercury spacecraft abort system under realistic emergency flight conditions.

Has there been any missions to Mercury?

As of 2015, the Mariner 10 and MESSENGER missions have been the only missions that have made close observations of Mercury. MESSENGER made three flybys before entering orbit around Mercury. MESSENGER was the first probe to orbit Mercury.

Who is the first female astronaut?

Human space flight cannot develop any further without the active participation of women." So said cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, (pictured left) who made history as the first woman in space aboard the then-Soviet Union's Vostok 6 spacecraft in 1963.

What is planet Jupiter famous for?

Jupiter is known for its stripes and large red spot. The Galileo spacecraft took this photo of Jupiter's Great Red Spot in 1996. Jupiter's four largest moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) are known as the Galilean satellites because they were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

Was Paul Stafford a real person at NASA?

Paul Stafford is a fictional character representing a number of white engineers at NASA for whom Katherine Johnson worked.

Where is Neil Armstrong from?

Neil Armstrong

Which of the Mercury 7 got divorced?

List of oft-referenced "astronaut wives"

Astronaut Group First spouse Fate of marriage
Group 1 (Mercury 7) Rene Price (1948) Separated 1968; Divorced 1972
Trudy Olson (1947) Divorced 1970
Annie Castor (1943) Never divorced
Betty Moore (1945) Widowed 1967 (Apollo 1)

Is astronaut Gordon Cooper still alive?

Gordon Cooper

Who died in Gemini 8?

Louis, Missouri, U.S. The 1966 NASA T-38 crash occurred when a NASA Northrop T-38 Talon crashed at Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 28, 1966, killing two Project Gemini astronauts, Elliot See and Charles Bassett.

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