Encyclopedia Astronautica
1963.02.12 - Objectives of the Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) manned 1-day mission were published.


This was the ninth flight of a production Mercury spacecraft to be boosted by an Atlas launch vehicle and the sixth manned United States space flight.

According to plans, MA-9 would complete almost 22 orbits and be recovered approximately 70 nautical miles from Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. Primary objectives of the flight were to evaluate the effects of the space environment on an astronaut after more than 1 but less than 2 days in orbit. During this period, close attention would be given to the astronaut's ability to function as a primary operating system of the spacecraft while in a sustained period of weightlessness. The capability of the spacecraft to perform over the extended period of time would be closely monitored. From postflight information, data would be available from the pilot and the spacecraft to ascertain, to a degree, the feasibility of space flights over a much greater period of time - Project Gemini, for example. In addition, the extended duration of the MA-9 mission provided a check on the effectiveness of the worldwide tracking network that could assist in determining the tracking requirement for the advanced manned space flight programs.

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