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.
The five-year program proved to be a small first step. Shepard’s flight was overshadowed by Russian Yuri Gagarin’s Circuit assignment only 3 weeks before. Seizing the moment made by Shepard’s victory, on May 25, 1961, the President left his passing challenge to the country — the United States devote itself into landing a person on the moon and returning to Earth until the close of the decade. Apollo was a huge job — the country’s biggest technological work.
The initial house of Project Mercury has been Langley Research Center at Hampton, Va.. More importantly, the majority of the direction for Project Mercury and, even afterwards, Gemini and Apollo, were Langley engineers. Until the Langley laboratory wasn’t known to many outside the aerospace community.
NASA LANGLEY’S MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO PROJECT MERCURY
- Initial house of Project Mercury
- Trained first seven astronauts
- Invented Mercury space capsule layout
- Tested Mercury space capsule
- Produced and tracked a monitoring and ground instrumentation system
Designed and tracked a monitoring and ground instrumentation method
Langley Research Center, created in 1917 as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, has been the very first U.S. civilian aeronautical research center dedicated to the progress of the science of flight. Nearly every component of flight has been analyzed at Langley as well as throughout World War II, at the petition of the army, ” the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD) had been started. Aiding the army’s creation of pilotless aircraft has been investigators in Langley initially got interested in the issues of space exploration. Learning the processes connected with construction, instrumenting, monitoring and launching rockets and missiles afterwards proved crucial to the American space program and Project Mercury.