Capsule, Mercury

On September 9, 1959, NASA launched this unoccupied Mercury spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a suborbital flight that lasted 13 minutes. Its launch was the second in the Mercury program and the first using an Atlas booster. The flight helped NASA evaluate the booster, the new ablative heat shield, the capsule's flight dynamics and aerodynamic shape, and spacecraft recovery systems and procedures.

The heavily instrumented "Big Joe" was the most massive American spacecraft launched up to that time. It weighed about as much as a manned version would, and its success paved the way for the beginning of manned Mercury launches in 1961.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
NASA - Langley Research Center
NASA, Lewis Research Center

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station
Human Spaceflight

Type
SPACECRAFT-Manned-Test Vehicles

Materials
Structure: Inconel alloy; Heatshield: Phenolic Fiberglass
Heatshield: phenolic resins, fiberglass
Dimensions
Overall: 9 ft. 4 in. tall x 6 ft. 1 in. wide, 2555 lb. (284.5 x 185.4cm, 1158.9kg)

On September 9, 1959, NASA launched this unoccupied Mercury spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a suborbital flight that lasted 13 minutes. Its launch was the second in the Mercury program and the first using an Atlas booster. The flight helped NASA evaluate the booster, the new ablative heat shield, the capsule's flight dynamics and aerodynamic shape, and spacecraft recovery systems and procedures.

The heavily instrumented "Big Joe" was the most massive American spacecraft launched up to that time. It weighed about as much as a manned version would, and its success paved the way for the beginning of manned Mercury launches in 1961.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
NASA - Langley Research Center
NASA, Lewis Research Center

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station
Human Spaceflight

Type
SPACECRAFT-Manned-Test Vehicles

Materials
Structure: Inconel alloy; Heatshield: Phenolic Fiberglass
Heatshield: phenolic resins, fiberglass
Dimensions
Overall: 9 ft. 4 in. tall x 6 ft. 1 in. wide, 2555 lb. (284.5 x 185.4cm, 1158.9kg)

ID: A19680244000