Author Topic: Restored Atlas booster headed to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force  (Read 1979 times)

Offline Targeteer

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https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=596655849160971&set=pcb.596655942494295

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
 
Check out more photos of an Atlas rocket in restoration at Thomarios in Copley Ohio! Plans call for this artifact to go on display in the Missile Gallery.
This rocket will represent the launch vehicle for USAF Maj Gordon Cooper's Mercury-Atlas 9 mission on May 15-16, 1963. His was the final and longest Mercury mission, lasting more than 34 hours. In his spacecraft Faith 7, Cooper orbited the Earth 22 times. He experienced six times the force of gravity during launch and orbited the Earth at more than 17,000 mph. #spacegeek
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Vahe231991

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Could this Atlas rocket booster have been intended for one of three planned but canceled Mercury flights involving the Atlas (Mercury-Atlas 10, Mercury-Atlas 11, Mercury-Atlas 12)?

Offline Jim

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Could this Atlas rocket booster have been intended for one of three planned but canceled Mercury flights involving the Atlas (Mercury-Atlas 10, Mercury-Atlas 11, Mercury-Atlas 12)?

no, they were used

Offline edkyle99

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I wonder where this one came from.  It really does look like a "D" as near as I can tell.  I thought that Dayton only had 10E in storage.  Hope we find out.

Here is a cool video of the restoration made last Fall.  You can see many details, along with the fact that the interior is supported by a truss structure for vertical display. 



 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/09/2023 02:17 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Blackstar

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I was at the National Museum of the US Air Force two weeks ago and they have a spot cleared for this Atlas. It will go in their indoor rocket garden. I may have a photo of that spot on my camera. I'll check.

Offline WallE

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I would be curious about what missions those leftover Mercury-Atlas boosters got used for. There were four unused ones, 77D, 103D, 152D, and 167D. The first two would have launched MA-2 and 4 but were withdrawn after the postflight findings from MA-1 and 3. The second two were for additional missions after MA-9 that got cancelled. My understanding was that 152D and 167D would have been recycled into the GATV program but NASA decided instead to simply use the newer Atlas SLV-3. They might have been renumbered and used for some unmanned program but Atlas SLVs prior to the standardized SLV-3 were custom built for their specific mission.

Were 152D and 167D used for Project FIRE? (renumbered as 263D and 264D) That would kind of make sense given the payloads and more likely than ending up launching a GAMBIT satellite or something but I have honestly no idea. And if so then there's still the question of what happened with 77D and 103D.

Offline edkyle99

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I would be curious about what missions those leftover Mercury-Atlas boosters got used for. There were four unused ones, 77D, 103D, 152D, and 167D.
Here is 77D, being used for some type of FLOX testing during January 1964.  SDASM archives.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/134663372@N03/galleries/72157659648198639/with/19154888811/
and here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/33873993505/in/photolist-wfZu9x-SnqRPD-TBk57M-vVN6sp-dV34Ep-2niNmg2-W1sb6J-SjKvdQ-KtuecJ-SnqWHM-uTG3eQ-zKpozY-zLACab-uervPw-vbDP6D-wdF3sm-uepYvk-2kGZxBv-dV8JpJ-SnqX9X-dV8Ets

This image claims to show the thrust structure of 152D during 1969.  Not sure I believe this one.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/33279838730/in/photolist-Te8riG-SGPSAW

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/13/2023 08:11 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline WallE

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It seems that 77D was reused for static firing tests. The picture of 152D is probably mislabeled and taken in the early '60s not 1969. The only leftover Mercury-Atlas vehicle that seemingly did fly was 20D which was Big Joe's backup and recycled for Atlas-Able 1. That booster however represented the earliest iteration of the Mercury-Atlas and only had a few changes from the standard Atlas D missile most importantly thicker tank skin to support the weight of the capsule--this was convenient as it could also support the weight of the Able upper stages. Most of the MA hardware such as even thicker tank skin, the ASIS system, and various other custom mods and specially chosen high spec components came later.

Offline edkyle99

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It seems that 77D was reused for static firing tests.
The photos, for their part, only showed an experimental FLOX (liquid fluorine/liquid oxygen mix) loading test, and it looked like the cryo load was into the Atlas kerosene tank.  No engines appear to be mounted on the vehicle.

 - Ed Kyle

Tags: Mercury Atlas 
 

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