It first flew on 29 July 1960, conducting the suborbital Mercury-Atlas 1 test flight. The rocket suffered a structural failure shortly after launch, and as a result failed to place the spacecraft onto its intended trajectory. In addition to the maiden flight, the first orbital launch, Mercury-Atlas 3 also failed. This failure was due to a problem with the guidance system failing to execute pitch and roll commands, necessitating that the Range Safety Officer destroy the vehicle. The spacecraft separated by means of its launch escape system and was recovered 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) from the launch pad.
A further series of Mercury launches was planned, which would have used additional LV-3Bs; however these flights were canceled after the success of the initial Mercury missions. The last LV-3B launch was conducted on 15 May 1963, for the launch of Mercury-Atlas 9.