Beach Abort

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Beach Abort
Beach Abort.jpg
Boilerplate Mercury spacecraft with launch escape system on the ground before July 22, 1959 test flight
Mission typeAbort test
OperatorNASA
Mission duration1 minutes, 16 seconds
Distance travelled1.6 kilometres (1 mi)[1]
Apogee0.80 kilometres (0.5 mi)[1]
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftMercury No.1
ManufacturerMcDonnell Aircraft
Launch mass1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 9, 1960 (1960-05-09)
RocketMercury LES
Launch siteWallops
End of mission
Landing dateMay 9, 1960 (1960-05-10)
Mercury insignia.png
Project Mercury
Abort Tests

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.[1] 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 ground level. The flight lasted a total of 1 minute, 16 seconds. The spacecraft reached an apogee of 0.751 kilometres (2,465 ft) and splashed down in the ocean with a range of 0.97 kilometres (0.6 mi).Top speed was a velocity of 436 metres per second (976 mph).[2][3] A Marine Corps helicopter recovered the spacecraft 17 minutes after launch. 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 kilograms (2,544 lb).[3]

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.[3][4]

Flight of the spacecraft and launch escape system
Flight of the spacecraft and launch escape system. In frame 6 the two separate and the spacecraft lands by parachute in frame 10.
Technicians prepare a full-scale capsule which would be used for the test.

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References[edit]

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

  1. ^ a b c Dumoulin, Jim. "Beach-Abort (7)". NASA Kennedy Space Center Science. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ Pearlman, Robert. "NASA's Launch Abort Test Builds on 50 Years of Astronaut Escape Systems". Space.com. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Bauduin, Pierre; McDowell, Johnathan. "Mercury BA-1". WEEBAU SPACE ENCYCLOPEDIA. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  4. ^ "New York Hall of Science Rocket Park Exhibit". Archived from the original on 2008-03-03.

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