Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mercury Retrorockets


Mercury Retrorockets Development Diary

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Mercury Retrorockets Chronology


1959 September 22 - .
  • Mercury Retrorocket Capability. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Summary: A paper was issued covering 'Results of Studies Made to Determine Required Retrorocket Capability.' The intent of this study was to provide for pilot safety for landing during any emergency condition, as well as at the end of a normal mission..

1959 December 8 - .
  • Retrorockets for the Mercury spacecraft were tested - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Summary: Two Thiokol retrorockets for the Mercury spacecraft were tested at the Arnold Engineering Development Center engine test facility. The test objectives were to evaluate ignition characteristics..

1960 April 15 - .
  • Qualification tests for the Mercury spacecraft retrorockets were started. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. One of the main purposes of this program was the development of a better igniter. The igniter tested was attached to the head end of the propellant grain and coated with a pyrotechnic. Based on three tests it appeared that the delayed ignition problem had been resolved. Thereafter, several other tests were run until the igniter was adjudged to be reliable.

1960 April 15 - .
  • Qualification tests began on the Mercury spacecraft posigrade rocket. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Summary: The first three rocket motors subjected to these tests were successfully tested in a more stringent vibration spectrum than that required for Mercury-Atlas 1 (MA-1), the maximum dynamic reentry and maximum heat on afterbody test flight..

1961 February 10 - .
  • Hydrogen-peroxide fuel economy for the Mercury spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grissom. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Measures to be taken for hydrogen-peroxide fuel economy for the Mercury spacecraft attitude control system were studied at a coordination meeting. Items considered were orbital attitude, retroattitude hold sequence, and salvo versus ripple retrorocket firing. Astronaut Virgil Grissom reported that the salvo method had already been proven to be unsatisfactory on the Mercury procedures trainer.

1961 August 9 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Retrofire-from-orbit mission rules for Mercury MA-4 - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Summary: Retrofire-from-orbit mission rules were published for the unmanned Mercury-Atlas 4 (MA-4) orbital flight..

1962 May 28 - .
  • Mercury retrorocket heater blankets unnecessary. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Summary: Flight and ground tests disclosed that Mercury retrorocket heater blankets were unnecessary to the spacecraft, and this item was removed..

1963 March 11 - .
  • Clearances between Mercury spacecraft retropack and launch vehicle adapter - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Flight: Mercury MA-10. Spacecraft: Mercury; Mercury Retrorockets. Based on a request from the Manned Spacecraft Center, McDonnell submitted a review of clearances between the Mercury spacecraft 15B retropack and the launch vehicle adapter during separation maneuvers. This review was prompted by the fact that additional batteries and a water tank had been installed on the sides of the retropack. According to the McDonnell study the clearance safety margin was quite adequate.

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