Underneath the seat was the environmental control system supplying oxygen and heat, scrubbing the air of CO2, vapor and odors, and (on orbital flights) collecting urine. The astronauts and ground teams for the Mercury missions proved that people could fly safely to space and return, and laid the groundwork for much of the technology and mission practices followed by NASA to this day. Qualification of spacecraft / Redstone combination. 3.  On top of the recovery compartment was the antenna section (5) containing both antennas for communication and scanners for guiding spacecraft orientation. Based on the federal research agency National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), it was named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  The computer systems were IBM 701 computers. Its success laid the groundwork for Project Gemini, which carried two astronauts in each capsule and perfected space docking maneuvers essential for crewed lunar landings in the subsequent Apollo program announced a few weeks after the first crewed Mercury flight.  Existing technology and off-the-shelf equipment would be used wherever practical, the simplest and most reliable approach to system design would be followed, and an existing launch vehicle would be employed, together with a progressive test program. The control panels of Friendship 7. 638–641 when nothing else is mentioned. [n 12] A number of Mercury boilerplate spacecraft (made from non-flight materials or lacking production spacecraft systems) were also made by NASA and McDonnell. Perhaps it began when Johannes Kepler wrote and published his book Somnium.  Little Joe rockets were launched from Wallops Island, Virginia. Those were an automatic blood-pressure measuring system for use in flight, and instruments to sense the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the oxygen atmosphere of the cabin and space suits. Call-sign.  This was easier to control, avoided the risk of decompression sickness ("the bends"),[n 7] and also saved on spacecraft weight. Recovered by. The History and Legacy of Project Mercury. February 1962. 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19, were not flown. Initiated in 1958, completed in 1963, Project Mercury became the United States's first man-in-space program. [n 19] The space vehicle moved gradually to a horizontal attitude until, at an altitude of 87 nautical miles (161 km), the sustainer engine shut down and the spacecraft was inserted into orbit (D). Recovered by, Carried the chimpanzee Ham on suborbital flight. At the beginning of the project both President Eisenhower and NASA's first administrator, T. K. Glennan, believed that the US would put the first man in space, and that this would be the end of the Space Race.  The panels changed between flights, among others the periscope screen that dominates the center of these panels was dropped for the final flight together with the periscope itself. Astronaut Donald “Deke” Slayton in an “orbital attitude simulator” training device, 1959. After screening more than 500 service records of test and fighter pilots in early 1959, 110 men were found that met the minimum standards. The Mercury project gained popularity, and its missions were followed by millions on radio and TV around the world.  The launch vehicles had been tested through uncrewed flights, therefore the numbering of crewed missions did not start with 1. , During the November 29, 1961, Mercury-Atlas 5 flight, Enos became the only chimpanzee, and the third primate, to orbit the Earth, Atlas - with spacecraft mounted - on launch pad at Launch Complex 14, NASA announced the following seven astronauts – known as the Mercury Seven – on April 9, 1959:.  It was not able to change direction; instead its flight depended on the angle from which it was launched.
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