Mercury 7 Monument - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PersonsMD
N 28° 29.453 W 080° 33.219
17R E 543686 N 3151663
Quick Description: The Mercury 7 Monument was dedicated on 10 November 1964 as a tribute to the United States Original Seven Astronauts. The memorial is located near the entrance to Launch Complex 14 where the first manned space flights were launched.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 5/31/2013 11:56:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMH6RN
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member csm014
Views: 9

Long Description:
This large sculpture of the project Mercury symbol is made of titanium and stands over a inscribed tablet noting the achievements of the Mercury program.

The text of the marker reads:
"...ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX TASKS EVER PRESENTED
TO MAN IN THIS COUNTRY ··· THE ACHIEVEMENT OF
MANNED FLIGHT IN ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH."

- JOHN F. KENNEDY
THIRTY-FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
THIS MARKER COMMEMORATES THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS
AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION'S PROJECT MERCURY, WHICH
FIRST PUT FREE MEN INTO SPACE. THE FOUR MANNED
ORBITAL CAPSULES WERE BOOSTED INTO SPACE BY ATLAS
ROCKETS, WHICH WERE LAUNCHED BY THE UNITED STATES
AIR FORCE FROM COMPLEX 14, LOCATED 2200 FEET EAST
OF HERE AT 28° 29' 27.1428" NORTH LATITUDE AND
80° 32' 49.6107 WEST LONGITUDE. CONTAINED IN A CAPSULE
HEREIN TO BE OPENED IN THE YEAR 2464 A.D. ARE
TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THESE FLIGHTS.


DEDICATED 1964 A.D., TO THE THOUSANDS OF MEN AND
WOMEN OF THE FREE WORLD WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE
SUCCESS OF PROJECT MERCURY.

"SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE" ANON."

The Mercury Monument stands outside of Launch Complex 14. Admission is open to the general public with some restrictions and must be accessed by taking an escorted tour sponsored by either the Johnson Space Center or the 45th Space Wing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The monument shows the number 7 (in honor of the "Original Seven" astronauts) inside of the astronomical symbol for the planet Mercury. Underneath the slab is the time capsule that contains artifacts related to Project Mercury, including photos, film footage, capsule blueprints, and even John Glenn's Marine Corps pilot's wings. It is scheduled to be opened in the year 2464.

Complex 14 was built in the late 1950's to support Atlas launches. Up until its deactivation in February of 1967, it supported a total of 32 Atlas and Atlas-Agena launches. These included four manned launches for the Mercury program, and seven unmanned launches for the Gemini program. After years of exposure to the weather and salt air, the service structure and launch stand were razed in December of 1976.

The Original Seven Astronauts are:
Scott Carpenter
L. Gordon Cooper
John H. Glenn Jr.
Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom
Walter H. "Wally" Schirra Jr.
Alan B. Shepard Jr.
Donald K. "Deke" Slayton

The goals of the Mercury project look simple in todays frame of reference however in 1958 they were daunting and demanded. Americas best and brightest come together from all disciplines to accomplish these three goals:
- To Orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth.
- To investigate man's ability to function in space.
- To recover both man and spacecraft safely.

The program was critical as it developed methods and technologies that would become the foundation of manned space flight. The program used Redstone and Atlas rockets for the manned flights which were initiated on:
- 5 May 1961: Alan B. Shepard; 15 minutes, 28 seconds - Put the first American is space
- 21 July 1961: Virgil I. Grisson; 15 minutes, 37 seconds - Spacecraft sank after splashdown.
- 20 February 1962: John H. Glenn, Jr.; 4 hours, 55 minutes, 23 seconds - Three-orbit flight placing the first American in orbit around the earth.
- 24 May 1962: M. Scott Carpenter; 4 hours, 56 minutes, 5 seconds - duplicated the orbital flight of John H. Glenn.
- 3 October 1962: Walter M. Schirra, Jr.; 9 hours, 13 minutes 11 seconds - A successful engineering test flight of 6 orbits.
- 15-16 May 1962: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.; 34 hours, 19 minutes, 49 seconds - Last Mercury mission used to evaluate the effects of 1 day in space and completed 22 orbits.

As part of the Mercury project there are 20 unmanned flights. Some of these ended in explosive failures but all provided valuable information needed to make the program work.

In addition to human participants 4 primates were used in the program including:
- Sam, a monkey who was launched into space on 4 December 1959.
- Miss Sam, a monkey who was launched into space on 21 January 1960.
- Ham, a chimp who was launched into space on 31 January 1961.
- Enos, a chimp who was launched into space on 29 November 1961

The United States first manned space flight project was successfully accomplished in a 4 2/3 year period of dynamic activity which saw more than 2,000,000 people from many major government agencies and much of the aerospace industry combine their skills, initiative, and experience into a national effort. In this period, six manned space flights were accomplished as part of a 25-flight program. Directing this large and fast moving project required the development of a management structure and operating mode that satisfied the requirement to mold the many different entities into a workable structure. The management methods and techniques so developed are discussed. Other facets of the Mercury experience such as techniques and philosophies developed to insure well-trained flight and ground crews and correctly prepared space vehicles are discussed. Also, those technical areas of general application to aerospace activities that presented obstacles to the accomplishment of the project are briefly discussed. Emphasis is placed on the need for improved detail design guidelines and philosophy, complete and appropriate hardware qualification programs, more rigorous standards, accurate and detailed test procedures, and more responsive configuration control techniques.

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Hours:
Accessed through the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex that is open daily from 9 am - 5 pm


Fee (if no fee, enter 'none'): $80.00 throught the Johnson Space Center; Free through the 45th Space Wing

How Long a Hike: 20 yards from tour bus stop.

Amount of time an average person would spend here: Half a day (2-4 Hours)

Accessible?: yes

Location is wheelchair accessible?: Yes

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PersonsMD visited Mercury 7 Monument - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida 1/6/2012 PersonsMD visited it