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Thruster, Liquid Fuel, Attitude Control, Mercury Spacecraft


Display Status:

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

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Mainly stainless steel; plastic nozzle protective plug (removeable) inserted into nozzle.


Overall: 3 in. wide x 6 in. deep (7.6 x 15.2cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number


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