Naval Aviation Museum Site Index
Mercury Mockup Gallery


The sign accompanying the spacecraft mockup. It reads

The Mercury spacecraft displayed here is a replica of those flown into space by America's first group of Astronauts, four of whom were naval aviators. Measuring only 6 ft., 2 1/2 inches in diameter, the cone-shaped one man capsule offered precious little maneuvering room. It featured an orange escape tower that in the event of an aborted mission, which fortunately never occurred in a manned mission, ejected the capsule from the rocket. During a successful launch the tower was jettisoned once it was no longer necessary. In addition, the blunt end of the capsule was covered with an ablative heat shield to protect it against the 3,000-degree temperatures during reentry into the atmosphere. All accomplished pilots, the astronauts insisted that they were not merely riding the spacecraft, but flying it. Thus, they contributed to the overall design of the capsule, helping design the instrument panel and flight controls and recommending a forward centerline window that provided them visual flight reference.

Sign accompanying the Mercury Mockup at Naval Aviation Museum
Time picture taken Thu Jun 17 10:36:52 2004
Location picture taken Space Gallery
Naval Aviation Museum
Pensacola, FL
Picture also in XN-13 Pressure Suit
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