Mercury-Redstone 1A (MR-1A) was launched on December 19, 1960 from LC-5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission objectives of this unmanned suborbital flight were to qualify the spacecraft for space flight and qualify the system for an upcoming primate suborbital flight. The spacecraft tested its instrumentation, posigrade rockets, retro rockets and recovery system. The mission was completely successful. The Mercury capsule reached an altitude of 130 miles (210 km) and a range of 235 miles (378 km). The launch vehicle reached a slightly higher velocity than expected - 4,909 miles per hour (7,900 km/h). The Mercury spacecraft was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean by recovery helicopters about 15 minutes after landing. Serial numbers: Mercury Spacecraft # 2 together with the escape tower from Capsule # 8, and the antenna fairing from Capsule # 10 were reflown on MR-1A. Redstone MRLV-3 was used. Flight time 15 minutes 45 seconds.
^This is the mass of the spacecraft after separation from the booster, including all spacecraft consumables. It excludes the escape tower, which was jettisoned before spacecraft separation, and the spacecraft-booster adapter, which remained attached to the booster. Note that Mercury spacecraft #2 lacked some of the equipment present in the spacecraft used on the manned Mercury flights.