Mercury-Redstone booster gallery

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Booster construction and testing[edit]

A Mercury capsule is mounted on a Mercury-Redstone booster, prior to test firing at Marshall Space Flight Center's Redstone Test Stand, circa 1960.

Unmanned Mercury-Redstone launches[edit]

Mercury-Redstone 1[edit]

Mercury-Redstone 1, the first attempt to launch a Mercury-Redstone, on November 21, 1960, failed in a quite peculiar fashion.

Mercury-Redstone 2 and Mercury-Redstone Booster Development[edit]

Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7)[edit]

Mercury-Redstone 3 ("Freedom 7"), the first U.S. human space flight, was launched on May 5, 1961, at 9:34 AM EST. It carried astronaut Alan Shepard on a 15-minute sub-orbital flight which reached a height of 116 miles (187 km) and landed 302 miles (486 km) from the launch site.

Prelaunch activities[edit]


Mercury-Redstone 4 (Liberty Bell 7)[edit]

Mercury-Redstone 4 ("Liberty Bell 7") was the second U.S. human space flight. It was launched on July 21, 1961 at 7:20 AM EST, carrying astronaut Gus Grissom to a height of 118 miles (190 km) and landing 302 miles (486 km) from the launch site.

Launch preparations[edit]


Display booster at Kennedy Space Center[edit]

Mercury-Redstone booster MR-6 was a production booster that was never launched. Instead it was erected as a permanent display at the Visitor Information Center at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), near Cape Canaveral. The booster stood for many years, until it was toppled by Hurricane Frances in September 2004. As of 2009, MR-6 is in storage awaiting repair.

Technical drawings[edit]

Units and components of the Mercury-Redstone.
The Mercury-Redstone's Rocketdyne A-7 rocket engine, which had 78,000 lbf (350 kN) of thrust at sea level.
Exploded view of Mercury-Redstone booster. The carbon jet vanes in the tail helped to steer the rocket by directing its exhaust stream.