Project Mercury
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
 
Project Mercury -
Project Mercury  [1803 Page Views]

It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.
 †                    - Alan Shepard


Project Mercury

† The first Americans to venture into space were drawn from a group of 110 military pilots chosen for their flight test experience and because they met certain physical requirements. Seven of those 110 became astronauts in April 1959. Six of the seven flew Mercury missions (Deke Slayton was removed from flight status due to a heart condition). Beginning with Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 flight, the astronauts named their own spacecraft, and all added "7" to the name to acknowledge the teamwork of their fellow astronauts.
† Mercury had seven prime astronauts, all former military test pilots, known as the Mercury Seven. NASA announced the selection of these astronauts on 9 April 1959.
† Because of their small size it was said that the Mercury spacecraft capsules were worn, not ridden. With 1.7 cubic meters of habitable volume, the capsule was just large enough for the single crew member. Inside were 120 controls: 55 electrical switches, 30 fuses and 35 mechanical levers. The spacecraft was designed by Max Faget and NASA's Space Task Group.

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