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Mercury-Atlas 9

Atlas LV-3B

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Launch Status
Success

Crew


Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper

  • Birthday: 03/06/1927
  • Role: Pilot
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 05/15/1963
  • Last Flight: 08/21/1965

Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper Jr. was an American aerospace engineer, test pilot, United States Air Force pilot, and the youngest of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program of the United States.

Cooper piloted the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. He was the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission and was the last American to be launched alone to conduct an entirely solo orbital mission. In 1965, Cooper flew as Command Pilot of Gemini 5.

Mission


Mercury-Atlas 9

  • Type: Human Exploration
  • Orbit: Low Earth Orbit

Mercury-Atlas 9 was the final manned spaceflight of the United States’ Mercury program. It carried the Faith 7 spacecraft with astronaut Gordon Cooper to orbit where it completed 22 orbits seconds before reentry. The mission lasted for, 34 hours, 19 minutes & 49 seconds. This was the last time an American was launched to space on a solo orbital mission. The mission had several technical problems, the biggest which was a short-circuit in the bus bar serving the 250 volt main inverter causing the automatic stabilization and control system to stop working during the 21st orbit. In the end Cooper had to use lines he had drawn on the window and his wristwatch to correctly execute burns to safely re-enter the atmosphere.

Mercury-Atlas 9

Location


Space Launch Complex 14

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Space Launch Complex 14 has witnessed the launch of 20 rockets, including 15 orbital launch attempts, while Cape Canaveral, FL, USA, has been the site for 931 rocket launches.

Space Launch Complex 14

Rocket


National Aeronautics and Space Administration Atlas LV-3B

The Atlas LV-3B, Atlas D Mercury Launch Vehicle or Mercury-Atlas Launch Vehicle, was a human-rated expendable launch system used as part of the United States Project Mercury to send astronauts into low Earth orbit. Manufactured by American aircraft manufacturing company Convair, it was derived from the SM-65D Atlas missile, and was a member of the Atlas family of rockets.

Atlas LV-3B

Agency


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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