Mercury Friendship 7 & the Planet Mercury- Washington, D.C.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 38° 53.311 W 077° 01.188
18S E 324820 N 4306344
Quick Description: This spacecraft is located in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 6/17/2015 8:02:07 PM
Waymark Code: WMP2MX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 10

Long Description:
This spacecraft is located at the entrance in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Wikipedia's extensive article (under it's alternative name Mercury-Atlas 6) (visit link) informs us about this spacecraft that once carried astronaut Johnn Glenn:

"Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) was the third human spaceflight for the US and part of Project Mercury. Conducted by NASA on February 20, 1962, the mission was piloted by astronaut John Glenn, who performed three orbits of the Earth, making him the first US-astronaut to orbit the Earth.

The Mercury spacecraft, named Friendship 7, was carried to orbit by an Atlas LV-3B launch vehicle lifting off from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. After four hours and 56 minutes in flight the spacecraft re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was safely taken aboard the USS Noa.

The event was named an IEEE Milestone in 2011...

Glenn boarded the Friendship 7 spacecraft at 11:03 UTC on February 20, 1962 following an hour-and-a-half delay to replace a faulty component in the Atlas's guidance system. The hatch was bolted in place at 12:10 UTC. Most of the 70 hatch bolts had been secured, when one was discovered to be broken. This caused a 42 minute delay while all the bolts were removed, the defective bolt was replaced and the hatch was re-bolted in place. The count was resumed at 11:25 UTC. The gantry was rolled back at 13:20 UTC. At 13:58 UTC the count was held for 25 minutes while liquid oxygen propellant valve was repaired.

At 14:47 UTC, after two hours and 17 minutes of holds and three hours and 44 minutes after Glenn entered Friendship 7, engineer T. J. O'Malley pressed the button in the blockhouse launching the spacecraft. At liftoff Glenn's pulse rate climbed to 110 beats per minute (bpm).

30 seconds after liftoff the General Electric-Burroughs designed guidance system locked onto a radio transponder in the booster to guide the vehicle to orbit. As the Atlas and Friendship 7 passed through Max Q Glenn reported, "It's a little bumpy about here." After Max Q the flight smoothed out. At two minutes and 14 seconds after launch, the booster engines cut off and dropped away. Then at two minutes and twenty-four seconds, the escape tower was jettisoned, right on schedule.

After the tower was jettisoned, the Atlas and spacecraft pitched over still further, giving Glenn his first view of the horizon. He described the view as "a beautiful sight, looking eastward across the Atlantic." Vibration increased as the last of the fuel supply was used up. Booster performance had been nearly flawless through the entire powered flight. At sustainer engine cut-off it was found that the Atlas had accelerated the capsule to a speed only 7 ft/s (2 m/s) below nominal. At 14:52 UTC, Friendship 7 was in orbit. Glenn received word that the Atlas had boosted the MA-6 into a trajectory that would stay up for at least seven orbits. Meanwhile, computers at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland indicated that the MA-6 orbital parameters appeared good enough for almost 100 orbits."

As for the planet, Wikipedia (visit link) informs us:

"Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. Seen from Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days, which is much faster than any other planet in the Solar System. It has no known natural satellites. The planet is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger to the gods.
Because it has almost no atmosphere to retain heat, Mercury's surface experiences the greatest temperature variation of the planets in the Solar System, ranging from 100 K (-173 °C; -280 °F) at night to 700 K (427 °C; 800 °F) during the day at some equatorial regions. The poles are constantly below 180 K (-93 °C; -136 °F). Mercury's axis has the smallest tilt of any of the Solar System's planets (about 1/30 of a degree), but it has the largest orbital eccentricity.[a] At aphelion, Mercury is about 1.5 times as far from the Sun as it is at perihelion. Mercury's surface is heavily cratered and similar in appearance to the Moon, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years.
Mercury is gravitationally locked and rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen relative to the fixed stars, it rotates on its axis exactly three times for every two revolutions it makes around the Sun. As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital motion, it appears to rotate only once every two Mercurian years. An observer on Mercury would therefore see only one day every two years."
Website of the Extraterrestrial Location: [Web Link]

Website of location on Earth: [Web Link]

Celestial Body: Mercury

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