History on redstone launch vehicle

After Shepard still reported noticeable vibration during launch, Gus Grissom 's booster included even more ballast. The Atlas booster used for orbital Mercury flights had also experienced this issue, but with more catastrophic results as Mercury-Atlas 1 was destroyed in-flight due to structural failure caused by excessive flexing at the point where the booster mated with the capsule adapter.

Redstone (rocket family)

In total, some modifications were made to the Redstone design in the process of adapting it for the Mercury program. The process of man-rating Redstone was so extensive that NASA quickly found themselves not using an off-the-shelf rocket, but what was in effect a completely new one and thus negating all of the hardware and flight test data from previous Redstone and Jupiter-C launches. This created a series of disputes between Von Braun's team at ABMA and NASA, as the former preferred simply making the abort system as foolproof as possible so as to guarantee that the astronaut would be bailed out of a malfunctioning launch vehicle, while the latter favored maximum booster reliability to minimize the chance of aborts happening at all.

The Mercury-Redstone designers originally planned for the rocket to be recovered by parachute after its separation from the Mercury capsule.


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This was the first significant effort to develop a recoverable launch vehicle and the first to reach the testing phase. The recovery system, at the top of the rocket, would have used two stages of parachutes.

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In the first stage, a single parachute, 17 feet 5. The rocket would come down in the Atlantic Ocean, to be recovered by ship. To determine the feasibility of this system, several tests were performed on full-sized Redstones, including water impact and flotation tests, and an exercise at sea in which a floating Redstone was picked up by a Navy recovery ship. All these tests showed recovery of the rocket to be workable. Mercury-Redstone flights were designated with the prefix "MR-".

Confusingly, the Mercury-Redstone boosters used for these flights were designated in the same way, usually with different numbers. In photographs, this designation can sometimes be seen on the rocket's tail end. Two rockets, MR-4 and MR-6, were never flown. Although there had been rumors that NASA in the very beginning of Project Mercury had intended to launch each astronaut on a suborbital mission before beginning orbital Atlas flights, they only purchased eight Mercury-Redstone boosters, one of which was damaged in the unsuccessful MR-1 launch and not reused, and another used for the MR-BD flight the original schedule was for one unmanned Mercury-Redstone flight, one chimpanzee flight, and six manned flights.

Since Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom's flights were successful and since the Soviet Union had flown two orbital manned space flights by the late summer of , there was no need to continue with Redstone missions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Project Mercury.

Mercury Seven. Navy Mark IV space suit.

mercury redstone

Sam Ham Enos. Gemini successor program Apollo lunar program. Vostok rival in space race.

Astronaut Hall of Fame Space program on U. Hidden categories: Pages using infobox rocket with unknown parameters. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Mercury-Redstone 2 launch carrying Ham chimpanzee , Jan 31, Human-rated sub-orbital launch vehicle. Chrysler Corporation. Launch Complex 5 , Cape Canaveral, Florida. Carried chimpanzee Ham.


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Empty nonfunctional " boilerplate " capsule. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mercury-Redstone boosters.

Redstone (rocket family) - Wikipedia

General Mercury Seven. When this system was abandoned, the compartment was used for ballast to improve stability in flight. Unlike the standard Redstone, the Mercury-Redstone's length and heavy payload caused it to become aerodynamically unstable later in the flight as it reached supersonic speeds, but the extra ballast delayed the onset of this effect past the most critical period of maximum aerodynamic forces, known as " max Q ".

After Mercury-Redstone 1A and Mercury-Redstone 2 exhibited some aerodynamic bending in the adapter section, subsequent flights were equipped with reinforcing bands.

Rocket City, Alabama: Space history and an eye on the future

The Atlas booster used for orbital Mercury flights had also experienced this issue, but with more catastrophic results as Mercury-Atlas 1 was destroyed in-flight due to structural failure caused by excessive flexing at the point where the booster mated with the capsule adapter. In total, some modifications were made to the Redstone design in the process of adapting it for the Mercury program. The Mercury-Redstone designers originally planned for the rocket to be recovered by parachute after its separation from the Mercury capsule.

This was the first significant effort to develop a recoverable launch vehicle and the first to reach the testing phase. The recovery system, at the top of the rocket, would have used two stages of parachutes. The rocket would come down in the Atlantic Ocean, to be recovered by ship. To determine the feasibility of this system, several tests were performed on full-sized Redstones, including water impact and flotation tests, and an exercise at sea in which a floating Redstone was picked up by a Navy recovery ship.

All these tests showed recovery of the rocket to be workable. Mercury-Redstone flights were designated with the prefix "MR-". Confusingly, the Mercury-Redstone boosters used for these flights were designated in the same way, usually with different numbers. In photographs, this designation can sometimes be seen on the rocket's tail end. Two rockets, MR-4 and MR-6, were never flown.

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see url Contents [ show ]. Project Mercury. Gemini successor program Apollo lunar program.

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Vostok rival in space race. Mercury Seven. Navy Mark IV space suit. Ham Enos Background: Animals in space. Categories :. Cancel Save. Carried chimpanzee Ham. Empty nonfunctional " boilerplate " capsule.