Mercury-Redstone 1

From Academic Kids

Mercury-Redstone 1
Mission Insignia
Mercury insignia
Mission Statistics
Mission Name:Mercury-Redstone 1
Call Sign:MR-1
Number of
Crew Members:
Launch:November 21, 1960
Cape Canaveral
Complex 5
Landing:November 21, 1960
Duration:0 minutes,
2 seconds
Number of
Apogee:4 inches (100 mm)
Peak acceleration:1 g (9.8 m/s²)
Mass:1,211 kg
MR-1 launching the escape rocket.(NASA)
MR-1 launching the escape rocket.(NASA)
Fueling MR-1 in prepartation for launch.(NASA)
Fueling MR-1 in prepartation for launch.(NASA)

Mercury- Redstone 1 (MR-1)was launched on November 21, 1960 from Launch Complex 5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was to be a unmanned suborbital flight. This was the first launch attempt for the Mercury-Redstone combination. The Redstone's engine cut out about 1 second after lift-off. The launch failure was caused by a booster tail plug that pulled out too early, about one inch (25 mm) after liftoff. The rocket rose about 4 inches (100 mm) then settled back onto the launch pad and did not explode. An odd series of events then took place. The Launch Escape System sensed the booster cutoff and fired the main escape rockets. At the same time, it thought booster cutoff was a signal to jettison itself, so it released the Mercury capsule. The result was the Escape Rocket launched itself to a 4,000 ft (1,220 m) apogee and landed 400 yards (365 m) away, but the capsule stayed behind on the rocket. The Mercury spacecraft sensed escape system jettison, but thought it been pulled away from an exploding booster and was falling. Three seconds after the escape rocket fired, the spacecraft ejected its radio canister and deployed its main parachute and reserve parachutes. In the end, a fully fuelled, slightly wrinkled Redstone booster sat on the launch pad, with live batteries and pyrotechnics. On top of it sat a Mercury capsule with live batteries and more pyrotechnics and main and reserve parachutes hanging down the side of the rocket, threatening to tip the Redstone over if they caught enough wind. All that was launched was the escape tower. The rocket was damaged and could not be reused. Technicians had to wait until flight batteries ran down, the morning of November 22, before approaching the rocket. Serial numbers: Redstone MRLV-1, Mercury spacecraft # 2. Payload 1,211 kg.

Mercury Spacecraft # 2 together with the escape tower from Capsule # 8, and the antenna fairing from Capsule # 10 were reflown on MR-1A. A new Redstone was used, MRLV-3.


Mercury Redstone Sub-Orbital Flight Events

T+ Time Event Description
T+00:00:00 Liftoff Mercury-Redstone lifts off, onboard clock starts.
T+00:00:16 Pitch Program Redstone pitches over 2 deg/s from 90 deg to 45 deg.
T+00:00:40 End Pitch Program Redstone reaches 45 deg pitch.
T+00:01:24 Max Q Maximum dynamic pressure ~575 lb/ft² (28 kPa).
T+00:02:20 BECO Redstone engine shutdown - Booster Engine Cutoff. Velocity 5,200 mph (2.3 km/s)
T+00:02:22 Tower Jettison Escape Tower Jettison, no longer needed.
T+00:02:24 Capsule Separation Posigrade rockets fire for 1 s giving 15 ft/s (4.6 m/s) separation.
T+00:02:35 Turnaround Maneuver Capsule (ASCS) system rotates capsule 180 degrees, to heat shield forward attitude. Nose is pitched down 34 degrees to retro fire position.
T+00:05:00 Apogee Apogee of about 115 miles (185 km) reached at 150 miles (240 km) downrange from launch site.
T+00:05:15 Retrofire Three retro rockets fire for 10 seconds each. They are started at 5 second intervals, firing overlaps. Delta V of 550 ft/s (168 m/s) is taken off forward velocity.
T+00:05:45 Retract Periscope Periscope is automatically retracted in preparation for reentry.
T+00:06:15 Retro Pack Jettison One minute after retrofire retro pack is jettisoned, leaving heatshield clear.
T+00:06:20 Retro Attitude Maneuver (ASCS) orients capsule in 34 degress nose down pitch, 0 degrees roll, 0 degrees yaw.
T+00:07:15 .05 G Maneuver (ASCS) detects beginning of reentry and rolls capsule at 10 deg/s to stabilize capsule during reentry.
T+00:09:38 Drogue Parachute Deploy Drogue parachute deployed at 22,000 ft (6.7 km) slowing descent to 365 ft/s (111 m/s) and stabilizing capsule.
T+00:09:45 Snorkel Deploy Fresh air snorkel deploys at 20,000 ft (6 km). (ECS) switches to emergency oxygen rate to cool cabin.
T+00:10:15 Main Parachute Deploy Main parachute deploys at 10,000 ft (3 km). Descent rate slows to 30 ft/s (9 m/s)
T+00:10:20 Landing Bag Deploy Landing Bag Deploys, dropping heat shield down 4 ft (1.2 m).
T+00:10:20 Fuel Dump Remaining hydrogen peroxide fuel automatically dumped.
T+00:15:30 Splashdown Capsule lands in water about 300 mi (500 km) downrange from launch site.
T+00:15:30 Rescue Aids Deploy Rescue aid package deployed. The package includes green dye marker, recovery radio beacon and whip antenna.

Previous Mission:
Mercury-Atlas 1
Mercury Next Mission:
Mercury-Redstone 1A
de:Mercury-Redstone 1

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