The Mercury Program


His 15-minute suborbital flight has been a part of Project Mercury, the United States’ initial man-in-space program. The goals of the Mercury program, eight unmanned flights and six manned flights from 1961 to 1963, were very unique: to orbit a manned spacecraft around the Earth, explore man’s ability to work in space, and also to regain both man and spacecraft safely. Project Mercury comprised the very first Earth orbital flight made by an American, John Glenn at February 1962.


Gilruth requested the little group of designer/engineers in the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD) to measure their research of ballistic-shaped spacecraft. Back in November 1958, Gilruth gained a number of the forces out of PARD to make the Space Task Group (STG) to handle Project Mercury, the initial stage of NASA’s manned space program.

Since Project Mercury developed, the STG climbed. From the summer of 1959, there have been 400 individuals assigned to complete mission definition research and start the innovative technology work. 1 little group was delivered to Florida to prepare NASA’s manned launch website in the Atlantic Missile Range, although a second group moved to oversee the job of their prime spacecraft contractor McDonnell Aircraft Corp. in St. Louis. While more strategies for space exploration have been being phased out, NASA created arrangements to enlarge its facilities. Gilruth desired Langley to be the primary centre however their were contenders. Both chief sites under consideration have been in Massachusetts and Texas. In the Long Run, the Manned Spacecraft Center, currently the Johnson Space Center, has been Constructed in Houston. When construction was finished, Gilruth and the Space Task Group transferred into Texas.

Mercury Capsule Testing

A technician checks the Mercury full-size capsule before testing the real one in a 30- to 60-Foot Tunnel at NASA Langley Research Center in 1959. This technique enabled researchers to quantify and examine flight characteristics in addition to evaluate control choices.

The First Seven Mercury Astronauts

The first seven Mercury astronauts starting at left front row: Virgil “Gus” Grissom. Scott Carpenter, Donald “Deke” Slayton along with Gordon Cooper; rear row: Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra and John Glenn. The Mercury 7 astronauts set many records in space and will be remembered for the rest of humanity.


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