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Mercury Redstone BD



The Mercury Redstone Booster Development (MR-BD) flight was the last unmanned Mercury Redstone. The purpose of the flight test was to provide a final check of the launch-vehicle system prior to the manned suborbital flights. The objective was to investigate corrections to booster problems resulting during the MR-2 flight. These problems included: (1) structural feedback to the control system producing vane "chatter"; (2) instrument compartment vibration; and, (3) thrust control malfunction.

The launch vehicle achieved a maximum velocity of about 8,200 km/hour and an altitude of 180 km. The capsule travelled nearly 500 km down range for a flight that lasted 8 minutes and 23 seconds. All test objectives of the flight were met. As a result, the launch vehicle was approved for the planned manned suborbital flights.

Alternate Names

  • MR-BD
  • Mercury Redstone Booster Development
  • MercuryRedstoneBD

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1961-03-24
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-BD Information/Data

MR-BD 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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