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Mercury Redstone 1A



Mercury Redstone 1A (MR-1A) was a repeat of the earlier Mercury Redstone 1 (MR-1) flight which had failed. The objectives of MR-1A were identical, i.e. to: (1) qualify the spacecraft-booster combination for the Mercury-Redstone mission which included attaining a Mach number of approximately 6.0 during powered flight, a period of weightlessness of about five minutes, and a deceleration of approximately 11 g on reentry; (2) qualify the posigrade rockets; (3) qualify the recovery system; (4) qualify the launch, tracking, and recovery phases of operations; and, (5) qualify the Automatic Stabilization and Control System (ASCS), including the Reaction Control System (RCS).

With the exception that the launch vehicle cut-off velocity was slightly higher (about 80 m/s) than normal, all flight sequences were satisfactory. All measured abort parameters remained below the limits and the abort system functioned as expected. Tower separation, spacecraft separation, spacecraft turnaround, retrofire, retropackage jettison, and landing system operation occurred or were controlled as planned.

The spacecraft achieved a maximum altitude of 210 km and a maximum velocity of just under 8,000 km/hour. The spacecraft travelled downrange of the launch facility 375 km in a flight that lasted 15 minutes and 45 seconds. Fifteen minutes after landing in the Atlantic Ocean, the recovery helicopter picked up the spacecraft.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 1960-12-19
    Launch Vehicle: Redstone
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

    Funding Agency

    • NASA-Office of Manned Space Flight (United States)


    • Engineering

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

    Selected References

    • Grimwood, J. M., Project Mercury: A chronology, NASA, SP-4001, Wash., D.C., 1963.

    Other Sources of MR-1A Information/Data

    MR-1A information (NASA KSC)
    MR-1 Press Release images (NASA JSC)

    Project Mercury Drawings and Technical Diagrams (NASA History Office)

    On-line version of Project Mercury: A Chronology (NASA History Office)

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