Mercury-Atlas

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Atlas MA-9
MA-9 pre-launch
Last manned Mercury-Atlas

Mercury-Atlas was a subprogram of Project Mercury which comprised most of the flights and tests using the Atlas LV-3B launch vehicle. The Atlas was also used for one Mercury flight under the Big Joe subprogram.

Mission numbering[edit]

The Mercury mission numbering system was a two letter designation which corresponded to the launch vehicle type, followed by a dash, then a 1 or 2 designating the flight/test number. Thus the official designation for the first U.S. manned orbital spaceflight was MA-6.

Atlas launch vehicle numbering[edit]

The Atlas launch vehicles use for Project Mercury were numbered using a 2 or 3 digit number followed by a -D indicating that the missiles were the "D" version of the Atlas.

Spacecraft and launch vehicle pairings[edit]

The missions flown in Mercury-Atlas were:

  • MA-1 using Atlas launch vehicle "50-D"
  • MA-2 using Atlas launch vehicle "67-D"
  • MA-3 using Atlas launch vehicle "100-D"
  • MA-4 using Atlas launch vehicle "88-D"
  • MA-5 using Atlas launch vehicle "93-D"
  • MA-6 using Atlas launch vehicle "109-D"
  • MA-7 using Atlas launch vehicle "107-D"
  • MA-8 using Atlas launch vehicle "113-D"
  • MA-9 using Atlas launch vehicle "130-D"