Author Topic: Project Mercury videos  (Read 1643 times)

Offline John44

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Offline John44

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Offline catdlr

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Re: Project Mercury videos
« Reply #2 on: 09/10/2016 03:07 AM »
bump...

Project Mercury Quarterly Report No. 1 Oct-Dec 1959 NASA; Mercury Spacecraft Testing & Mfg

Published on Sep 9, 2016


Project Mercury 1st Congressional report focuses on Mercury spacecraft development and production.

Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.

Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States. It ran from 1959 through 1963 with two goals: putting a human in orbit around the Earth, and doing it before the Soviet Union, as part of the early space race. It succeeded in the first but not the second: in the first Mercury mission on 5 May 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space; however the Soviet Union had put Yuri Gagarin into space one month earlier. John Glenn became the first American (third overall, following Gagarin and Titov) to reach orbit on February 20, 1962, during the third manned Mercury flight.

The program included 20 unmanned launches, followed by two suborbital and four orbital flights with astronaut pilots. Early planning and research were carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), but the program was officially conducted by its successor organization, NASA. It also absorbed the USAF program Man In Space Soonest which had had the same objectives. Mercury laid the groundwork for Project Gemini and the follow-on Apollo moon-landing program...

Spacecraft

Design

Because of their small size, it was said that the Mercury spacecraft were worn, not ridden. With 60 cubic feet (1.7 m3) of habitable volume,[citation needed] the spacecraft was just large enough for the single crew member. Inside were 120 controls: 55 electrical switches, 30 fuses and 35 mechanical levers. The spacecraft was designed by Max Faget and NASA's Space Task Group.

Despite the astronauts' test pilot experience NASA at first envisioned them as "minor participants" during their flights, causing many conflicts between the astronauts and engineers during the spacecraft's design. Nonetheless, contrary to other reports, the project's leaders always intended for pilots to be able to control their spacecraft, as they valued humans' ability to contribute to missions' success. John Glenn's manual attitude adjustments during the first orbital flight were an example of the value of such control. The astronauts requested—and received—a larger window and manual reentry controls.

Production summary

NASA ordered 20 production spacecraft, numbered 1 through 20, from McDonnell Aircraft Company, St. Louis, Missouri. Five of the 20, Nos. 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19, were not flown. Spacecraft No. 3 and No. 4 were destroyed during unmanned test flights. Spacecraft No. 11 sank and was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after 38 years. Some spacecraft were modified after initial production (refurbished after launch abort, modified for longer missions, etc.) and received a letter designation after their number, examples 2B, 15B. Some spacecraft were modified twice; for example, spacecraft 15 became 15A and then 15B.

A number of Mercury boilerplate spacecraft (including mockup/prototype/replica spacecraft, made from non-flight materials or lacking production spacecraft systems and/or hardware) were also made by NASA and McDonnell Aircraft. They were designed and used to test spacecraft recovery systems, and escape tower and rocket motors. Formal tests were done on test pad at Langley and at Wallops Island using the Little Joe and Big Joe rockets...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibjY6fDQjjE?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Re: Project Mercury videos
« Reply #3 on: 03/20/2017 09:16 PM »
Project Mercury Quarterly Report #8 1961 NASA; Gus Grissom, MR-4, Liberty Bell 7

Jeff Quitney

Published on Mar 20, 2017

"Quarterly progress report for Project Mercury: July, August, September 1961." Astronaut Gus Grissom witnesses the test of an explosive hatch, first used on his Liberty Bell 7 MR-4 flight, which blew accidentally after splashdown, resulting in the loss of the spacecraft (and near loss of the astronaut).

Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.

Mercury-Redstone 4 was the second United States manned space mission, launched on July 21, 1961. The Mercury program suborbital flight used a Redstone rocket. The spacecraft was named Liberty Bell 7 piloted by astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom. It reached an altitude of more than 118.26 mi (190.32 km) and traveled about 300 mi (480 km)...

Liberty Bell 7

Mercury spacecraft #11 was designated to fly the second manned suborbital flight in October, 1960. It came off McDonnell's St. Louis production line in May 1960. Spacecraft #11 was the first Mercury operational spacecraft with a centerline window. It was closer to the final orbital version than was Alan Shepard's Freedom 7. Dubbed Liberty Bell 7, it featured a white, diagonal irregular paint stripe starting at the base of the capsule and extending about two-thirds toward the nose, emulating the crack in the famed Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The stripe is echoed on the left side of the mission insignia.

Explosive hatch

Spacecraft #11 also had a new explosive hatch release. This would allow an astronaut to exit the spacecraft quickly in the event of an emergency. Emergency personnel could also trigger the explosive hatch from outside the spacecraft by pulling on an external lanyard... The original side hatch was bolted shut with 70 bolts and covered with several spacecraft shingles, making it a slow process to open the original hatch.

McDonnell engineers came up with two different quick release hatches for the Mercury spacecraft. One with a latch, used on Ham's (a chimp) MR-2 and Shepard's MR-3 missions. The other design was an explosive release hatch. The quick release latching hatch weighed 69 lb (31 kg), too much of a weight addition to use on the orbital version of the spacecraft. The explosive hatch design used the 70 bolts of the original design, but each quarter-inch (6.35 mm) titanium bolt had a 0.06 in (1.5 mm) hole bored into it to provide a weak point. A mild detonating fuse (MDF) was installed in a channel between the inner and outer seal around the periphery of the hatch. When the MDF was ignited, the resulting gas pressure between the inner and outer seal would cause the bolts to fail in tension.

There were two ways to fire the explosive hatch during recovery. On the inside of the hatch was a knobbed plunger. The pilot could remove a pin and press the plunger with a force of 5 or 6 lbf (25 N). This would detonate the explosive charge, which would shear off the 70 bolts and propel the hatch 25 ft (7.6 m) away in 1 s. If the pin was left in place, a force of 40 lbf (180 N) was required to detonate the hatch. An outside rescuer could blow open the hatch by removing a small panel near the hatch and pulling a lanyard. The explosive hatch weighed only 23 lb (10 kg)...

The Liberty Bell 7 was launched at 122036 UTC, July 21, 1961...

Reentry presented no problem...

Grissom asked the helicopters to begin the approach for pickup. He removed the pin from the hatch-cover detonator and lay back in the couch. "I was lying there, minding my own business," he said afterward, "when I heard a dull thud." The hatch cover blew away, and salt water swished into the spacecraft as it bobbed in the ocean. The Liberty Bell 7 began taking on water and was sinking fast.

Grissom had difficulty recollecting his actions at this point, but he was certain that he had not touched the hatch-activation plunger...

...All the time he had been in the water he kept feeling air escape through the neck dam. The more air he lost, the less buoyancy he had. Moreover, he had forgotten to secure his suit inlet valve. Swimming was becoming difficult, and now with the second helicopter moving in he found the rotor wash between the two aircraft was making swimming more difficult. Bobbing under the waves, Grissom was scared, angry, and looking for a swimmer from one of the helicopters to help him tread water...

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Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaj7LNvKC1g?t=001


Tony De La Rosa

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