Mercury - Atlas

Atlas as used for the orbital Mercury missions

Launch of Friendship 7, the first U.S. manned orbital space flight. Astronaut John Glenn aboard, the Mercury-Atlas rocket is launched from Pad 14.
on 20 February 1962
credit to NASA
Scanning credit to Kipp Teague

Atlas - Mercury

The three engine Atlas was developed for for the American space program and became used for several kinds of missions. This rocket was powerful ennough to bring a manned Mercury spacecraft into orbit. John Glenn became the first american who made an orbital flight. The rocket engines were more advanced than the one used for the Redstone. The Atlas' engines could be gimballed to control the thrust vector. All three engines provided thrust during the first phase of powered flight. At an altitude of xxx km the two outboard engines were dropped and the middle engine, the socalled sustainer engine, provided the remaining thrust until the fuel tanks were depleted and the desired orbit was obtained.
Exterior and Interior

Exploded view

Mercury-Atlas launch vehicles

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Copyright 2003 by Sander Panhuyzen
Comments and questions are welcome. All pictures and drawings contained on and through these pages are the author's, unless otherwise noted. No unauthorized reproduction without permission.