St. Louis Science Center Site Index
Mercury Hatch Gallery


One of the signs accompanying the spacecraft and hatch. It reads

Making an Exit

The Mercury spacecraft used a small door, called a hatch, to seal the astronaut inside the capsule. During the first manned mission, once the door was sealed shut, it could not open again. To exit, the astronaut had to climb behind the control panel and out the top of the spacecraft. The Mercury 7 astronauts wanted an easier exit. All astronaut missions after the first had hatches like the one displayed here. An igniter triggered an explosive to blow the bolts off the door - easy exit!

Artifact Information

Mercury Spacecraft Hatch

Titanium, nickel-steel alloy, glass fibers, and resin
United States, 1963

On loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

sign accompanying Mercury Hatch at St. Louis Science Center
Time picture taken Thu Aug 23 14:47:34 2018
Location picture taken Lobby
James S. McDonnell Planetarium
St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis, MO
Picture also in Mercury S/C #19
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