Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mercury MR-5


Crew: Glenn. Planned Mercury suborbital flight. After Soviet full-day orbital flight in August 1961, NASA's suborbital hops looked pathetic. Further suborbital Mercury flights were cancelled. Backup crew: Slayton.

The original Mercury project plan envisioned all of the astronauts making an initial suborbital hop aboard a Redstone booster before making an orbital flight aboard an Atlas. However delays in the program resulted in the Redstone flights coming much closer to the Atlas flights than planned. By the time of the first suborbital Mercury flight, the Russians had already orbited Yuri Gagarin. After Grissom's capsule sunk, it was still planned to fly Glenn on a suborbital flight to prove the capsule. But Gherman Titov was launched on a full-day orbital flight in August 1961, making NASA's suborbital hops look pathetic. Glenn was moved to the first orbital Atlas flight, and further suborbital Mercury flights were cancelled.

First Launch: 1961 Late summer.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Glenn Glenn, John Herschel Jr (1921-) American test pilot astronaut, later a politician and US Senator. First American in orbit on his first flight, Mercury MA-6, in 1962, and oldest person in space on his second flight, STS-95, in 1998. More...
  • Slayton Slayton, Donald Kent 'Deke' (1924-1993) American test pilot astronaut. Slated to fly third Mercury mission, grounded due to a medical issue and became astronaut commander, assigning crews for lunar landings. Later finally flew on Apollo (ASTP). More...

See also
Associated Programs
  • Mercury Mercury was America's first man-in-space project. Setting the precedent for the later Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs, any capsule configuration proposed by the contractors was acceptable as long as it was the one NASA's Langley facility, and in particular, Max Faget, had developed. McDonnell, at that time a renegade contractor of innovative Navy fighters that had a history of problems in service, received the contract. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas, which would be used for orbital missions. The resulting design was less than a third of the weight of the Russian Vostok spacecraft, and more limited as a result. More...

Mercury MR-5 Chronology


1961 August 18 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV.
  • Further Mercury suborbital flights cancelled. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Mercury MR-5. Spacecraft: Mercury. Summary: NASA announced that analysis of Project Mercury suborbital data indicated that all objectives of that phase of the program had been achieved, and that no further Mercury-Redstone flights were planned..

1961 Late summer - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Redstone MRLV. LV Configuration: Redstone MRLV-4.
  • Mercury MR-5 (cancelled) - . Crew: Glenn. Backup Crew: Slayton. Payload: Mercury SC15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glenn; Slayton. Program: Mercury. Flight: Mercury MR-5. Spacecraft: Mercury. The original Mercury project plan envisioned all of the astronauts making an initial suborbital hop aboard a Redstone booster before making an orbital flight aboard an Atlas. But Gherman Titov was launched on a full-day orbital flight in August 1961, making NASA's suborbital hops look pathetic. Further suborbital Mercury flights after that of Grissom were cancelled.

1999 July 20 - .
  • Retrieval of Liberty Bell 7 Capsule From Ocean Floor - . Nation: USA. Flight: Mercury MR-5.

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