Thruster, Liquid Fuel, Attitude Control, Mercury Spacecraft

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    Thruster, Liquid Fuel, Attitude Control, Mercury Spacecraft

    Irregular shaped; rod, dark metal with shorter rod of same diameter welded on at right angle; attachment bracket, at angle, silver colored, attached to end of shorter rod; small diameter rod, silver color, welded to opposite side, forming cross-shaped whole with shorter arm with bracket as above and built-in exhaust nozzle; other arm with nut on end; bottom of main, upright rod, tapering to smaller diameter rod with nut attached and plastic disc ahead of nut; nozzle, outside diameter, 5/16 inch.

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This object is on display in the Rockets & Missiles at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Rockets & Missiles

This attitude control system thruster for the Mercury spacecraft was built by the Bell Aircraft Corporation. It provided attitude control and stabilization for the spacecraft during the Earth orbital and reentry phases of its mission. The single propellant was hydrogen peroxide released as a gas in small pulses as needed. There were two separate systems, one for manual control by the astronaut and the other for automatic control.

The manual thrust chambers were throttleable using a hand controller operated by the astronaut. The chambers were also known as the pitch, yaw, and roll control jets, or pitch, yaw, and roll thrusters. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1972 by the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center.