Encyclopedia Astronautica
1961.02.17 - Space Task Group selected severe flight trajectory for Mercury-Atlas 2

Information was released by NASA Headquarters that Space Task Group engineers directing Project Mercury had selected the flight trajectory for the Mercury-Atlas 2 (MA-2) mission.

This trajectory was designed to provide the most severe reentry heating conditions which could be encountered on an emergency abort during an orbital flight attempt. The reentry heating rate was estimated to be 30 percent higher than a normal Mercury orbital reentry, and temperatures were predicted to be about 25 percent higher at certain locations on the afterbody of the spacecraft. In addition, the deceleration g-load was calculated to be about twice that expected for a normal reentry from orbit.

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