Beach Abort

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Beach Abort
Beach Abort.jpg
Spacecraft with launch escape system on the ground
Mission type Abort test
Operator NASA
Mission duration 1 minutes, 16 secondsec
Distance travelled 1.6 kilometres (1 mi)[citation needed]
Apogee 0.80 kilometres (0.5 mi)[citation needed]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Mercury No.1
Manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft
Launch mass 1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date May 9, 1960 (1960-05-09)
Rocket Mercury LES
Launch site Wallops
End of mission
Landing date May 9, 1960 (1960-05-10)

Mercury insignia.png


Project Mercury
Abort Tests
← Little Joe 1B Little Joe 5

The Beach Abort was an unmanned test in NASA's Project Mercury, of the Mercury spacecraft Launch Escape System. Objectives of the test were a performance evaluation of the escape system, the parachute and landing system, and recovery operations in an off-the-pad abort situation. The test took place at NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia, test facility on May 9, 1960. In the test, the Mercury spacecraft and its Launch Escape System were fired from the ground level. The flight lasted 1 minute, 16 seconds and reached an apogee of 0.751 kilometres (2,465 ft) and a range of 0.97 kilometres (0.6 mi). A Marine Corps helicopter recovered the spacecraft 17 minutes after launch. Top speed was a velocity of 436 metres per second (976 mph). The test was considered a success, although there was insufficient separation distance when the tower jettisoned. Mercury Spacecraft #1, the first spacecraft off McDonnell's production line was used in this test. Total payload weight was 1,154 kg.

Mercury Spacecraft #1 is displayed at the New York Hall of Science, Corona Park, NY. It is displayed indoors, suspended from the ceiling, with an escape tower of unknown provenance attached.[1]

Flight of the spacecraft and launch escape system
Flight of the spacecraft and launch escape system, at (6) the two separate and the spacecraft lands by parachute


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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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