Mercury project


Mercury diagram

Unmanned flights:

List of unmanned flights:

Mission Rocket Call Sign Launch Date Launch Time Duration Remarks
Mercury-Jupiter Jupiter N/A N/A N/A N/A Canceled in July, 1959 – Proposed suborbital launch vehicle for Mercury. Not flown.
Little Joe 1 Little Joe LJ-1 21 Aug. 1959 N/A 00d 00h 00 m 20s Test of launch escape system during flight.
Big Joe 1 Atlas 10-D BJ-1 09 Sept. 1959 N/A 00d 00h 13 m Test of heat shield and Atlas / spacecraft interface
Little Joe 6 Little Joe LJ-6 04 Oct. 1959 N/A 00d 00h 05 m 10s Test of spacecraft aerodynamics and integrity
Little Joe 1A Little Joe LJ-1A 04 Nov. 1959 N/A 00d 00h 08 m 11s Test of launch escape system during flight
Little Joe 2 Little Joe LJ-2 04 Dec. 1959 N/A 00d 00h 11 m 06s Carried the monkey Sam to 85 kilometres in altitude
Little Joe 1B Little Joe LJ-1B 21 Jan. 1960 N/A 00d 00h 08 m 35s Carried the monkey Miss Sam to a 15 kilometres altitude
Beach Abort Launch escape system BA-1 09 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 / Atlas
Little Joe 5 Little Joe LJ-5 08 Nov. 1960 N/A 00d 00h 02 m 22s First flight of a production Mercury spacecraft
Mercury-Redstone 1 Redstone MR-1 21 Nov. 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 De. 1960 N/A 00d 00h 15 m 45s First flight of Mercury / Redstone
Mercury-Redstone 2 Redstone MR-2 31 Jan. 1961 16:55 UTC 00d 00h 16 m 39s Carried Ham the chimpanzee on suborbital flight
Mercury-Atlas 2 Atlas MA-2 21 Feb. 1961 14:10 UTC 00d 00h 17 m 56s Unmanned test
Little Joe 5A Little Joe LJ-5A 18 Mar. 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 Mar. 1961 17:30 UTC 00d 00h 8 m 23s Redstone development test flight
Mercury-Atlas 3 Atlas MA-3 25 Apr. 1961 16:15 UTC 00d 00h 07 m 19s Contained "robot astronaut"
Little Joe 5B Little Joe LJ-5B 28 Apr. 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 Sept. 1961 14:09 UTC 00d 01h 49 m 20s Unmanned test, completed one orbit
Mercury-Scout 1 Scout MS-1 1 Nov. 1961 15:32 UTC 00d 00h 00 m 44s Test of Mercury tracking network
Mercury-Atlas 5 Atlas MA-5 29 Nov. 1961 15:08 UTC 00d 03h 20 m 59s Carried the chimpanzee Enos on a two-orbit flight

Manned flights:

List of manned flights

Mission Callsign Rocket Desig. Pilot Launch Date Launch Time Duration Remarks
Mercury-Redstone 3 Freedom 7 Redstone MR-3 Shepard 5 May 1961 14:34 UTC 00d 00h
15 m 28s
First American to make a suborbital flight into space
Mercury-Redstone 4 Liberty Bell 7 Redstone MR-4 Grissom 21 July 1961 12:20 UTC 00d 00h
15 m 37s
Second suborbital flight. Spacecraft sank before recovery when hatch unexpectedly blew off, recovered 1999.
Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 Atlas MA-6 Glenn 20 February 1962 14:47 UTC 00d 04h
55 m 23s
First American to orbit the Earth (for a total of 3 orbits). Spacecraft's retropack retained during re-entry due to concerns about heat shield.
Mercury-Atlas 7 Aurora 7 Atlas MA-7 Carpenter 24 May 1962 12:45 UTC 00d 04h
56 m 15s
3 orbits. Reentered off-target by 402 km. Pilot Carpenter replaced Deke Slayton.
Mercury-Atlas 8 Sigma 7 Atlas MA-8 Schirra 3 October 1962 12:15 UTC 00d 09h
13 m 11s
Carried out engineering tests; six orbits
Mercury-Atlas 9 Faith 7 Atlas MA-9 Cooper 15 May 1963 13:04 UTC 01d 10h
19 m 49s
First American in space for over a day. Last American to orbit the Earth solo. 22 orbits.

List of cancelled flights:
Mission Callsign Rocket Designation Pilot Launch Date Remarks
Mercury-Atlas 10 Freedom 7-II Atlas MA-10 Shepard N/A Intended to be a three-day mission in October 1963; canceled 13 June 1963.
Mercury-Atlas 11 - Atlas MA-11 Grissom N/A Intended to be a one-day mission in 1963; canceled by October 1962.
Mercury-Atlas 12 - Atlas MA-12 Schirra N/A Intended to be a one-day mission in 1963. Canceled by October 1962.

Tracking network:

Control Center, Florida

The 6 orbits and tracking stations

Ref: #6o, #98, #149 - update: 11.09.17