Mercury-Atlas 4

Mercury-Atlas 4
MA-4 Launch
Mercury-Atlas 4
Mission insignia
Mercury insignia.jpg
Mission statistics
Mission name Mercury-Atlas 4
Spacecraft mass 1,224.7 kilograms (2,700 lb)
Crew size 0
Call sign MA-4
Launch vehicle Atlas LV-3B #88-D
Launch pad LC-14 (CCAF)
Launch date September 13, 1961, 14:09:00 UTC
Landing September 13, 1961, 15:58:20 UTC
Mission duration 01:49:40
Number of orbits 1
Apogee 248 kilometres (134 nmi)
Perigee 156 kilometres (84 nmi)
Orbital period 88.6 min.
Orbital inclination 32.57°
Distance traveled 41,919 kilometres (26,047 mi)
Maximum velocity 28,205 kilometres per hour (17,526 mph)
Peak acceleration 75.5 m/s² (7.7 g)
Crew photo
10073448.png
Crewman Simulator
Related missions
Previous mission Subsequent mission
Liberty bell insignia.jpg MR-4 Mercury insignia.jpg MS-1

Mercury-Atlas 4 was an unmanned spaceflight of the Mercury program. It was launched on September 13, 1961 at 14:09 UTC from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. A Crewman Simulator instrument package was aboard. The craft orbited the Earth once.

This flight was an orbital test of the Mercury Tracking Network and the first successful orbital flight test of the Mercury program. (All previous successful launches were suborbital.) The payload consisted of a pilot simulator (to test the environmental controls), two voice tapes (to check the tracking network), a life support system, three cameras, and instrumentation to monitor levels of noise, vibration and radiation. It demonstrated the ability of the Atlas LV-3B rocket to lift the Mercury capsule into orbit, of the capsule and its systems to operate completely autonomously, and succeeded in obtaining pictures of the Earth. It completed one orbit prior to returning to Earth. The capsule was recovered 176 miles east of Bermuda. One hour and 22 minutes after splashdown the destroyer USS Decatur (DD-936) (which was 34 miles from the landing point) picked up the capsule. On the MA-4 mission, all flight objectives were successfully achieved.

The mission used Mercury spacecraft # 8A (which had also been launched on the aborted MA-3 mission as spacecraft # 8) and Atlas # 88-D.

See also


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