Project Mercury – Part 2 – Atlas


Part 1 can be found here

The Project Mercury continued with 4 manned orbital flights using the Atlas as the booster. The Redstone was not powerful enough to place a man into orbit and NASA choose the Atlas (America’s first ICBM) to do the job. The Mercury capsule had been designed to be a replacement for the Atlas payload.

Here are the specifications on the Mercury Atlas

Total length 25.0 m
Core diameter 3.1 m
Liftoff mass 116,100 kg
Payload to 185-km low Earth orbit 1,360 kg
Total thrust
boosters (2) 1,600,000 N each
sustainer 280,000 N
verniers (2) 8,800 N each

The Four manned flights were:
Mercury-Atlas 6

February 20, 1962
John H. Glenn, Jr.

04 hours, 55 minutes 23 seconds
Three-orbit flight that placed the first
American into orbit.

Mercury-Atlas 7

May 24, 1962
M. Scott Carpenter

04 hours, 56 minutes, 5 seconds
Confirmed the success of Mercury-Atlas 6 by duplicating flight.

Mercury-Atlas 8

October 03, 1962
Walter M. Schirra, Jr.

09 hours, 13 minutes, 11 seconds
Six-orbit engineering test flight.

Mercury-Atlas 9

May 15-16, 1963
L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.

34 hours, 19 minutes, 49 seconds
Last Mercury mission; completed 22 orbits to evaluate effects of one day in space.

You can start to build your own Mercury Atlas. There are two paper model links located in my Ultimate Paper Rocket Guide. One is Surfduke’s and the other is available using the Internet Archives to go to Precision Paper Space Model’s Atlas 6.

Sheri’s Hot Rocket’s has a 1/24 scale model available!

This entry was posted in Rocketry Education. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Project Mercury – Part 2 – Atlas

  1. Kerry Sittig says:

    Another Fantastic blog post, I will bookmark this in my StumbleUpon account. Have a good evening.

  2. Pingback: RIP Scott Carpenter | The Rocketry Blog

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