Mercury And The Early Years

The Mercury Monument honouring the original seven astronauts

Kennedy Space Centre located at Pad 14

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New Photos Added  20 June 2008

 

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August 3, 1959

The completed Project Mercury Capsule No. 2 in Lewis Hangar near Cleveland, Ohio USA. Lewis is now known as the Glenn Research Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 1959

The Mercury space capsule undergoing a Full Scale Wind Tunnel test at Langley Research Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

January 1, 1960

Engineers inspect and test a boilerplate Mercury space capsule at NASA Headquarters in a not so "Clean Room" compared to today's standards.

 

 

 

 

  A vintage view of the Retro and Posigrade Package (Heat Shield) for the Mercury spacecraft. This was used to de-orbit the spacecraft at the end of the mission.

 

 

 

 

  NASA Director  Dr. Wernher von Braun in his office on  January  9, 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Armstrong and the  X-15  # 1

Photo taken  January 1, 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

10 x 15  Black and White

January 1, 1960   

NASA test pilot Neil Armstrong is seen here next to the X-15 ship #1 after a research flight. The X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft 50 feet long with a wingspan of 22 feet. It was a missile- shaped vehicle with an unusual wedge-shaped vertical tail, thin stubby wings, and unique side fairings that extended along the side of the fuselage.

 

 

 

 

 

April 21, 1961 

Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) Pre-launch Activities on the Mercury 5 launch pad.

 

 

 

 

 

July 28, 1961 

Profile of astronaut Alan Shepard in his silver pressure suit with the helmet visor closed as he prepares for his upcoming Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) launch. On May 5th 1961, Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the first American to fly into space. His Freedom 7 Mercury capsule flew a suborbital trajectory lasting 15 minutes 22 seconds. His spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean where he and Freedom 7 were recovered by helicopter and transported to the awaiting aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lake Champlain.

 

 

 

 

  5 May 1961

Lift Off of the Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) on the Mercury 5 launch pad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grissom Ready To Enter Liberty Bell 7

10  x  8   Black & White Glossy Photograph

Photo Credit:  NASA  NO.  61-MR4-75

21 July 1961

Gus Grissom prepares to enter the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft just prior to his scheduled lift-off atop the Mercury Redstone launch vehicle on Pad 5 of launch complex 56.

High gloss photograph chemically developed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

 

 

 

 

  Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom climbs into "Liberty Bell 7" spacecraft the morning of July 21, 1961. Backup Astronaut John Glenn assists in the operation. The Mercury-Redstone 4(MR-4) successfully launched the Liberty Bell 7 at 7:20 am EST on July 21, 1961. MR-4 was the second in a series of successful U.S. manned suborbital flights.

 

 

 

 

 

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John Glenn At Mercury Control

10 x  8  B/W Glossy Reprint Photograph

Photo Credit:  NASA  NO.  62-MA6-31

21 January 1962

Glenn pauses outside the Mercury Control Centre between training exercises for his MA-6 flight.

High gloss photograph chemically developed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 23, 1962 

Astronaut John Glenn gives ready sign during Mercury-Atlas 6 pre- launch training activities.

 

 

 

 

 

10 x 15 Colour Glossy Photo

February  2, 1962

Astronaut John Glenn and technicians inspect artwork that will be painted on the outside of his Mercury spacecraft. John Glenn nicknamed his capsule "Friendship 7". On February 20, 1962 astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. lifted off into space aboard his Mercury Atlas (MA-6) rocket and became the first American to orbit the Earth. After orbiting the Earth 3 times, Friendship 7 landed in the Atlantic Ocean 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds later, just East of Grand Turk Island in the Bahamas. Glenn and his capsule were recovered by the Navy Destroyer Noa, 21 minutes after splashdown.

 

 

 

 

 

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MA-6 John Glenn And Friendship 7

10 x  8  B/W Glossy Reprint Photograph

Photo Credit: NASA  No.  62-MA6-55

23 January 1962

Astronaut John Glenn relaxes sitting next to his spacecraft, Friendship 7, during pre-launch checks in the White Room atop the Service Gantry at Pad 14.

High gloss photograph chemically developed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

4.99

MA-6 John Glenn Entering Friendship 7

10 x  8  B/W Glossy Reprint Photograph

Photo Credit: NASA  No.  S-62-00371

20 February 1962

View of Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. being inserted into the Mercury Spacecraft "Friendship 7" for the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission on launch day.

High gloss photograph chemically developed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

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Friendship 7 Lift Off With Glenn Aboard

10 x 8 Colour Glossy Reprint Photograph

Photo Credit:  NASA  No.  S-62-870069

20 February 1962

Launch of Mercury Atlas-6 and Friendship 7, the first American manned orbital space flight with Astronaut John Glenn aboard, lifts off from Pad 14 at the Cape.

High gloss photograph chemically developed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

Carpenter in spacecraft for checkout 

1962

Mercury Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter in spacecraft for checkout procedures in the White Room facility at Hangar S during testing and training.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Carpenter with Astro Globe

Mercury Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter with Astro Globe in the Aeromedical Lab at Cape Canaveral.

 

 

 

 

 

Carpenter inspects heat shield.

Inside Hangar S at the White Room Facility at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Mercury astronaut M. Scott Carpenter examines the honeycomb protective material on the main pressure bulkhead (heat shield) of his Mercury capsule nicknamed "Aurora 7.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Carpenter Poses for a PR photo in front of NASA's Mercury Control Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

Carpenter In Ready Room on Launch Day

24 May 1962

Suited up Scott Carpenter is ready to head to Pad 14 for the MA-7 launch.

The photographer's reflection can be seen in the round disc on Scott chest along with another gentleman in the ready room.

 

 

 

 

 

24 May 1962

Scott Carpenter is on his way to Pad 14 where the Mercury Atlas and his spacecraft the  "Aurora 7" waits for launch.

 

 

 

 

 

24 May 1962

Scott Carpenter stops at Pad 14 for a quick photo before he heads for the Mercury Atlas and his spacecraft the  "Aurora 7"

 

 

 

 

 

24  MAY  1962

Astronaut Scott Carpenter looks into the "Aurora 7" spacecraft just prior to his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Carpenter's Aurora 7 Mercury Atlas rocket about to lift off from Pad 14, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 24, 1962 for the second manned orbital mission.

 

 

 

 

  Distance view of Scott Carpenter's Aurora 7 Mercury Atlas rocket as it lifts off from Pad 14, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 24, 1962.

 

 

 

 

  Clearing the tower Scott Carpenter's Aurora 7 Mercury Atlas rocket lifts off from Pad 14.

 

 

 

 

 

30 April 1963

Astronaut L. Gordon (Gordo) Cooper in white room, waiting for Terminal Countdown Demonstrations Test activities to resume in preparation for his Mercury- Atlas 9 launch.

 

 

 

 

 

May 1963

Mercury Spacecraft No. 20 named Faith 7 is lifted for mating with the Atlas booster for the MA-9 Earth orbital mission. Astronaut L. Gordon (Gordo) Cooper will pilot his spacecraft around the earth 22 times with splashdown planned to impact near Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

A splendid  Aerial View of the Mercury-Atlas 9 on Launch Pad 14

This carried  Gordon Cooper on the 4th manned mission on  May 7, 1963

 

 

 

 

 

May 1963

Pilot and spacecraft - Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, wearing his Mercury pressure suit, looks over the spacecraft which he named Faith 7 at the top of the Pad 14 gantry at Cape Canaveral.

 

 

 

 

 

12 May 1963

Gordon Cooper is assisted into his Faith 7 spacecraft during a pre-flight simulated mission three days before he is scheduled to lift-off on the 22-orbit flight.

 

 

 

 

 

14 May 1963

A close up of MA-9 Mercury capsule atop Atlas booster on Launch Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral.

 

 

 

 

 

14 May 1963

Pre-launch test of the Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) on Launch Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral

 

 

 

 

 

15 May 1963

For the second straight day Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr. set out at 4:55 a.m. EST from his living quarters at Hangar "S" for a rendezvous with a rocket and a flight around the world 22 times through space. Following Cooper to the transfer van is Astronaut Walter Schirra.

 

 

 

 

 

15 May 1963

Surrounded by five technicians, Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper is assisted into "Faith 7" at 5:32 a.m. EST, just over two and a half hours before lift-off at 8:04 a.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

15 May 1963

Mercury-Atlas 9 lifts off from Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper aboard "Faith 7" for the nation's longest manned orbital flight. Lift-off occurred at 8:04 a.m. EST, on May 15, 1963. And 34 hours, 20 minutes, 30 seconds, and 22 orbits later, Gordon Cooper was resting in his "Faith 7" space capsule in the blue Pacific Ocean.

10 x 8  Version

 

 

 

 

 

10 x 15  Version

Mercury-Atlas 9 lifts off from Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper aboard "Faith 7" for the nation's longest manned orbital flight. Lift-off occurred at 8:04 a.m. EST, on May 15, 1963. And 34 hours, 20 minutes, 30 seconds, and 22 orbits later, Gordon Cooper was resting in his "Faith 7" space capsule in the blue Pacific Ocean.

 

 

 

 

  Recovery personnel bring the Mercury space capsule "Faith 7" onboard the recovery ship U.S.S. Kearsarge with astronaut Gordon Cooper still inside. Once secured on deck, Cooper will jettison the Capsule's hatch allowing for his removal.

 

 

 

 

  Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr., has a smile for the recovery crew of the U.S.S. Kearsarge, after he is on board from a successful 22 orbit mission of the Earth in his Mercury spacecraft Faith 7. Cooper is still sitting in his capsule, with his helmet off.

 

 

 

 

  Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper is assisted in backing out of his Mecury capsule "Faith 7" after a 600,000 mile, 22.9 orbit journey around the Earth. He elected to remain in the spacecraft until it was hoisted to the deck of the Kearsarge, as did Astronaut Walter Schirra during the previous mission.

 

 

 

 

  Aerial view of Missile Row, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as it was in 1964. This view is looking north, with the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) under construction, in the upper left hand corner.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for viewing and I will be adding more Mercury Glossy Reprints soon.

 

 

Please:  e-mail   me if you have any questions or special requests.

 

 

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