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Big Joe Mercury Boilerplate

Only a boilerplate (although equipped with a standard Mercury-style ablative heatshield), this was the first launch of the Mercury program using an Atlas booster (the first launch of a production Mercury spacecraft was MA-1, which did not fare as well). The fact that it was launched on a "real" booster is what dubbed this mission "Big" Joe, to differentiate it from the "Little Joe" test flights used to qualify the launch escape tower.

For an overview of the Big Joe mission, see the KSC BJ-1 page. Additional information is available in NASA's online version of This New Ocean, the history of Project Mercury, and NASA's full report, Project Mercury Preliminary Flight Test Results of the Big Joe, Mercury R and D Capsule. Finally, the spacecraft is Smithsonian collections ID #A19680244000.

As of now, I have not yet sorted through all of my pictures of Big Joe, but some other page references this location. Thus, this is a "place holder" version right now, with only the pictures actually referenced. Come back some time later to see if I've finished up, or drop me an email to request me to prioritize the rest of these pictures.

dsc30810.jpg at Udvar-Hazy Center
dsc30821.jpg at Udvar-Hazy Center
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