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FREEDOM 7

Mercury Series

Alan B. Shepard

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MR-3 (18)

Freeedom 7
Pad LC-5 ()
Redstone (5)

 

Crew:

Alan B. Shepard, Jr (1)

 

Backup Crew:

 

Milestones:

 

4/18/61 - 1st Launch Simulation at pad
5/05/61 - Launch

 

Payload:

Spacecraft No. 7, Launch Vehicle MR-7

 

Mission Objective:

The main scientific objective of project Mercury was to determine man's capabilities in a space environment and in those environments to which he will be subject upon going into and returning from space. A few of the basic flight problems included: The development of an automatic escape system, vehicle control during insertion, behavior of space systems, evaluation of pilots capabilities in space, in flight monitoring, retrofire and reentry maneuvers and landing and recovery.

 

Launch:

May 5, 1961 9:34am EST

 

The formal countdown for the preparation for launching MR-3 started on the day previous to launch day. The countdown was actually split into two parts because previous experience had shown that it was preferable to run the countdown in two shorter segments and allow the launch crew of both the spacecraft and the launch vehicle to obtain some rest before starting the final preparation. The countdown started at 8:30am EST on May 4, 1961. All operations proceeded normally and were completed ahead of schedule. A build-in hold of approximately 15 hours was called at T-6 hours 30 minutes. During this time the various pyrotechnics were installed in the spacecraft and the hydrogen peroxide system was serviced.

 

The countdown was resumed at T-6 hours 30 minutes at 11:30pm EST on May 4, 1961. A built-in hold of 1 hour had been previously agreed upon at T-2 hours 20 minutes. This hold was to assure that spacecraft preparations had been completed before the astronaut was transported to the pad. The countdown proceeded with only minor delays until T-2 hours 20 minutes. At this time, final preparation of the spacecraft was conducted and the astronaut was apprised of the continuance of the countdown and transported to the Pad. The countdown was continued after the hold at T-2 hours 20 minutes and, except for some minor holds, the countdown continued until T-15 minutes. At this time it was determined that photographic coverage of the launch and flight could not be obtained because of low clouds near the launch area. Weather forcasters predicted that visibility would improve rapidly within 20 to 45 min. During this time, one of the 400hz power inverters to the launch vehicle had regulation problems. The count was recycled to the T-35 minute and holding mark and the count picked up 86 minutes later after the replacement of the inverter.

 

Again at T-15 minutes it was necessary to hold the count again to make a final check of the real-time trajectory computer. The countdown then picked up and proceeded until liftoff at 9:34am EST on 5/5/1961.

 

 

Orbit:

Altitude: 116.5 statute miles
Orbits: 0
Duration: 0 Days, 0 hours, 15 min, 28 seconds
Distance: 303 statute miles
Velocity: 5,134 mph
Max Q: 580 psf
Max G: 11

 

Landing:

May 5, 1961. 75deg 53min longitude, 27deg 13.7min latitude in the Atlantic Ocean.
 

Mission Highlights:

Mission successful

Click Here more information about MR-3

 

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First American in Space 15 minutes 22 seconds

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States.

Project Mercury
 


 

The "Mercury seven" astronauts pose with an Atlas model July 12, 1962. L to R: Grissom, Shepard,Carpenter, Schirra, Slayton, Glenn,Cooper.

 

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States. It ran from 1959 through 1963 with the goal of putting a human in orbit around the Earth. The Mercury-Atlas 6 flight on February 20, 1962, was the first Mercury flight to achieve this goal.[1] Early planning and research was carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics,[2] and the program was officially conducted by the newly created NASA. The name comes from Mercury, a Roman mythological god who is often seen as a symbol of speed. Mercury is also the name of the innermost planet of the solar system, which moves faster than any other and hence provides an image of speed, although Project Mercury had no other connection to that planet.
The Mercury program cost approximately $384 million,[3] the equivalent of about $2.8 billion in 2008 dollars.


 

Mission Rocket Call Sign Launch Date Launch Time Duration Remarks
Mercury-Jupiter Jupiter N/A N/A N/A N/A Cancelled in July, 1959 - Proposed suborbital launch vehicle for Mercury. Not flown.
Little Joe 1 Little Joe LJ-1 21 August 1959 N/A 00d 00h 00 m 20s Test of launch escape system during flight.
Big Joe 1 Atlas 10-D Big Joe 1 9 September 1959 N/A 00d 00h 13 m Test of heat shield and Atlas / spacecraft interface.
Little Joe 6 Little Joe LJ-6 4 October 1959 N/A 00d 00h 05 m 10s Test of spacecraft aerodynamics and integrity.
Little Joe 1A Little Joe LJ-1A 4 November 1959 N/A 00d 00h 08 m 11s Test of launch escape system during flight.
Little Joe 2 Little Joe LJ-2 4 December 1959 N/A 00d 00h 11 m 06s Carried Sam the monkey to 85 kilometres in altitude.
Little Joe 1B Little Joe LJ-1B 21 January 1960 N/A 00d 00h 08 m 35s Carried Miss Sam the monkey to 9.3 statute miles (15 kilometres) in altitude.
Beach Abort Launch escape system Beach Abort 9 May 1960 N/A 00d 00h 01 m 31s Test of the Off-The-Pad abort system.
Mercury-Atlas 1 Atlas MA-1 29 July 1960 13:13 UTC 00d 00h 03 m 18s First flight of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas Booster.
Little Joe 5 Little Joe LJ-5 8 November 1960 N/A 00d 00h 02 m 22s First flight of a production Mercury spacecraft.
Mercury-Redstone 1 Redstone MR-1 21 November 1960 N/A 00d 00h 00 m 02s Launched 4 inches (100 mm). Settled back on pad due to electrical malfunction.
Mercury-Redstone 1A Redstone MR-1A 19 December 1960 N/A 00d 00h 15 m 45s First flight of Mercury spacecraft and Redstone booster.
Mercury-Redstone 2 Redstone MR-2 31 January 1961 16:55 UTC 00d 00h 16 m 39s Carried Ham the Chimpanzee on suborbital flight.
Mercury-Atlas 2 Atlas MA-2 21 February 1961 14:10 UTC 00d 00h 17 m 56s Test of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas Booster.
Little Joe 5A Little Joe LJ-5A 18 March 1961 N/A 00d 00h 23 m 48s Test of the launch escape system during the most severe conditions of a launch.
Mercury-Redstone BD Redstone MR-BD 24 March 1961 17:30 UTC 00d 00h 8 m 23s Redstone Booster Development - test flight.
Mercury-Atlas 3 Atlas MA-3 25 April 1961 16:15 UTC 00d 00h 07 m 19s Test of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas Booster.
Little Joe 5B Little Joe AB-1 28 April 1961 N/A 00d 00h 05 m 25s Test of the launch escape system during the most severe conditions of a launch.
Mercury-Atlas 4 Atlas MA-4 13 September 1961 14:09 UTC 00d 01h 49 m 20s Test of Mercury spacecraft and Atlas Booster. Completed 1 orbit.
Mercury-Scout 1 Scout MS-1 1 November 1961 15:32 UTC 00d 00h 00 m 44s Test of Mercury tracking network.
Mercury-Atlas 5 Atlas MA-5 29 November 1961 15:08 UTC 00d 03h 20 m 59s Carried Enos the Chimpanzee on a two orbit flight.

From Wikipedia 4-10-2010
 


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