Kennedy Space Center Site Index
Mercury-Atlas Gallery


The sign accompanying the Mercury-Atlas. It reads

The Power to Get There

With the Russians out in front of us and the Press breathing down our necks, the reliable Redstone was chosen to launch the first two Americans into sub-orbital flights. But even before Commander Alan Shephard's historic flight on May 5, 1961, flight tests of the more powerful Atlas rocket were under way. Stuffed inside the Friendship 7 spacecraft, the Atlas launched John Glenn on his historic three-orbit flight on February 20, 1962. He proved humans could work in a weightless environment, piloting the Friendship 7 for most of the flight after automatic attitude systems failed.

ROCKET DATA: Mercury Atlas
Height: 29 meters (95.4 feet)
Diameter: 3 meters (10 feet)
Fuel: Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Kerosene
Lift-off thrust: 367,000 pounds

Time picture taken Tue Jun 15 08:34:58 2004
Location picture taken Rocket Garden
Visitor Center
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Prev Mercury-Atlas Gallery Next