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JULY 21, 1961 


This document presents the results of the second United States manned suborbital 
space flight. The data and flight description presented form a continuation of the 
information provided at an open conference held under the auspices of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration, in cooperation with the National Institutes of 
Health and the National Academy of Sciences, at the U.S. Department of State Audi- 
torium on June 6, 1961. The papers presented herein generally parallel the presenta- 
tions of the first report and were prepared by the personnel of the NASA Manned 
Spacecraft Center in collaboration with personnel from other government agencies, 
participating industry, and universities. 




By Robert R. Gilruth, Director, NASA Manned Spacecraft Cenler. 



By Jerorje B. Hammack, Mercury-Redstone Project Engineer, NASA Manned 
Spacecraft Center. 



Bv William K. Douglas, M.D., Astronaut Flight Surgeon, NASA Manned Space- 
craft Center; Carmault B. Jackson, Jr., M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA 
Manned Spacecraft Center: Ashton Graybiel, M.D., USN School of Aviation Medi- 
cine, Pensacola, Fla.: George Ruff, M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Edward C. 
Knoblcck, Ph. D., Walter Reed Army Medical Center; William S. Angerson, M.D., 
Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; and C. Patrick Laugh- 
lin, M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. 



By C. Patrick Laughlin, M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft 
Center and William S. Augerson, M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned 
Spacecraft Center. 


By William K. Douglas, M.D., Astronaut Fight Surge' n, NASA Manned Space- 
craft Center. 



By Robeil B. Voas, Ph. D., Head, Training Office, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; 
John J. Van Bockel, Training Office, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center: Raymond 
G. Zedevar, Training Office, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center: and Paul W. 
Hacker. McDonnell Aircrafl Corp. 


Bv VirsHI I. Griasom. Astronaut. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center. 


By Robert R. Gilruth, Director. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 

The second successful manned suborbital space 
flight on July 21, 1961, in which Astronaut Virgil 1. 
Grissom was the pilot was another step in the 
progressive research, development, and training 
program leading to the study of man's capabilities 
in a space environment during manned orbital flight. 
Data and operational experiences gained from this 
flight were in agreement with and supplemented the 
knowledge obtained from the first suborbital flight 
of Mav 5, 1961, piloted by Astronaut Alan B. 
> : '" d- Jr. 

wo recent manned suborbital flights, coupled 
wiLw ine unmanned research and development flights, 
have provided valuable engineering and scientific 
data on which the program can progress. The suc- 

cessful active participation of the pilots, in much 
the same way as in the development and testing of 
high performance aircraft, has greatly increased our 
confidence in giving man a significant role in future 
space flight activities. 

It is the purpose of this report to continue the 
practice of providing data to the scientific com- 
munity interested in activities of this nature. Brief 
descriptions are presented of the Project Mercury 
spacecraft and flight plan. Papers are provided 
which parallel the presentations of data published 
for the first suborbital space flight. Additional 
information is given relating to the operational 
aspects of the medical support activities for the two 
manned suborbital space flights. 



By Jerome B. HamMACK, Mercury-Redstone Project Engineer, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 


The Mercury spacecraft is described in some de- 
tail in references 1 and 2. The MR-1 flight was 
the fourth mission in the Mercury-Redstone series 
of flight tests, all of which utilized the Mercury 
spacecraft. Each spacecraft differed in small de- 
tails, and the differences between the MR-3 and the 
MR-4 spacecraft are discussed herein. 

As shown in figure 2-1, the main configuration 
differences were the addition to the MR-4 space- 

craft of a large viewing window and an explosively- 
actuated side hatch. 

The addition of the large viewing window in the 
position shown in the figure was a result of a change 
requested by the Mercury astronauts. This window 
enables the astronaut to have a greater viewing area 
than the original side port windows. The field of 
view of the window is 30° in the horizontal plane 
and 33° in the vertical. 





/ (MR-3) 







(MR-3) — 

Figure 2-1. Configuration differences between MR-3 and MR-4 spacecraft. 

The window is composed of an outer panel of 
0.35-inch-thick Vycor glass and a 3-layer inner 
panel. The top layer of this inner panel is 0.17-inch- 
thick Vycor glass and the other two layers are 0.34- 
inch-thick tempered glass. The Vycor glass panels 
will withstand temperat ares in the range of 1,500° 
to 1.800° F. The inner layers of tempered glass 
will withstand the cabin-pressure differences. Mag- 
nesium fluoride coatings were applied to reduce 
glare. Although not installed for the MR-4 flight, 
a removable polaroid filter to reduce glare further 
and a red filter for night adaption are available for 
the window . 

Side Hatch 

The explosively actuated side hatch was used for 
the first time on the MR-4 flight. The mechanically 
operated side hatch on he MR-3 spacecraft was in 
the same location and o : the same size, but was con- 
siderably heavier (69 pounds as installed rather 
than 23 pounds). 

The explosively actuated hatch utilizes an ex- 
plosive charge to fracture the attaching bolts and 
thus separate the hatch from the spacecraft. Seventy 
Vi-inch titanium bolts secure the hatch to the door- 
sill. A 0.06-inch-diamtjter hole is drilled in each 
bolt to provide a weak point. A mild detonating 
fuse (MDF I is installed in a channel between an 
inner and outer seal around the periphery of the 
hatch. When the MDF is ignited, the resulting gas 
pressure between the inner and outer seal causes 
the bolts to fail in tension. 

The MDF is ignited by a manually operated ig- 
niter that requires an actuation force of around 5 
pounds, after removal of a safety pin. The igniter 
can be operated externally by an attached lanyard, 
in which case a force jf at least 40 pounds is re- 
quired in order to shear the safety pin. 

Other differences be:ween the MR-3 spacecraft 
and the MR-4 spacecraft, not visible in figure 2-1, 
include: (a I redesigned clamp-ring covers, (b) 
changed instrument paiel, and (c) the incorpora- 
tion of a rate command control system. 

Clamp-Ring Covers 

The fairings around the explosive bolts were 
changed to a more streamlined shape from the orig- 
inal rectangular shape to reduce buffeting. Also, the 
upper part of the fairings were hinged so that at 
separation they would flip off rather than slide 
dow 7 n. There was evidence that on a previous Little 
Joe-Mercury flight, the umbilical connections had 

Figure 2-2. Clamp-ring covers for MR-3 and MR-4 

been damaged by this sliding action. Figure 2-2 
shows the differences between the MR-3 and MR^l 

Instrument Panel 

A comparison between the MR4 spacecraft in- 
strument panel, shown in figure 2-3, and the MR-3 
panel, presented in reference 1. reveals that the dif- 
ferences were mainly the rearrangement of controls 
and indicators and the addition of an earth-path 
indicator. The earth-path indicator was inoperative 
for the MR^l flight, however. ~ 

Rate Stabilization and Control Systen. 
The major difference between the stabilization 
and control systems of the MR-3 and MR-4 space- 
craft was the addition to the MR-4 spacecraft of a 
rate command control system which operated in 
connection with the manual reaction control system. 
The rate stabilization and control system (RSCS) 
senses and commands spacecraft rates rather than 
attitudes. The system damps to the commanded 
rate to within ±3 deg/sec. Without manual com- 
mand, it damps to zero rate within ±3 deg/sec. 

Prelaunch Preparations 

The prelaunch preparation period was essentially 
the same as for the MR-3 mission. A brief descrip- 
tion of the activity during this period follows. 


Prior to launch of the MR^l spacecraft, the as- 
signed pilot for the mission started an intense train- 
ing routine at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and at the 
NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Langlev *ir 

Figure 2-3. Main instrument panel and consoles for MR-4 spacecraft. 

Force Base, Va., to familiarize himself with the 
various details of the spacecraft systems and to 
sharpen his reactions to various situations. During 
this period, the pilot participated in a centrifuge 
training program in which 17 Mercury acceleration 
profiles were run. The pilot took part in environ- 
ir control system tests, communication tests, 
r control system tests; obtained 100 simu- 

lateu missions on the procedures trainer: conducted 
36 simulated missions on the air-lubricated free- 
attitude (ALFA) trainer; and practiced insertion 
exercises and RF tests in which the pilot and space- 
craft were exercised in a simulated count through 
lift off. On July 21, 1961, after two delays in the 
launch date, the pilot was prepared and inserted in 
the spacecraft at 3:58 a.m. e.s.t. Launch occurred 
at 7:20 a.m. e.s.t. 

Mercury Control Center 

The Mercury Control Center provided excellent 
support for the MR^l mission. Numerous simu- 
lated flights were run prior to launching which uti- 
lized the flight astronauts in the procedures trainer 
and the personnel of the flight control center and 


The spacecraft was delivered to Hangar "S" at 
Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 7, 1961. Upon de- 
livery, the instrumentation and selected items of 
t> imunication system were removed from the 

spacecraft for bench testing. After reinstallation of 
the components, the systems tests proceeded as 
scheduled with only slight interruptions for work 
periods. Those tests required a total of 33 days, 
during which the electrical, sequential, instrumenta- 
tion, communication, environmental, reaction-con- 
trol, and stabilization and control systems were 
individually tested. After systems tests, a short 
work period was required to install the landing-im- 
pact bag. A simulated flight was then run on the 
spacecraft which was followed by installation of 
parachutes and pyrotechnics, weighed and balanced, 
and delivered to the launch complex for mating with 
the booster. Twenty-one days were spent on the 
launching pad during which the spacecraft and 
booster systems were checked both separately and 
as a unit. After the systems checks were completed, 
a spacecraft — launch-vehicle simulated flight was 
performed. The spacecraft — launch-vehicle com- 
bination was then ready for launch. A period of 
136 days elapsed between delivery of the spacecraft 
to Cape Canaveral, Fla., and its successful launch. 
The MR-4, launch occurred on July 21, 1961, 47 
days after the first manned ballistic flight by Astro- 
naut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. 

Launch Vehicle 

The launch-vehicle system checks and prepara- 
tions proceeded as scheduled with only minor mal- 
functions which caused no delays in the schedule. 
During the split countdown on the launching pad, 

the launch-vehicle countdown proceeded smoothly 
with no hold periods chargeable to the launch-vehicle 


The MR-4 spacecraft was launched at 7:20 a.m. 
e.s.t. on July 21, 1961 (fig. 2-4). The launch was 
originally scheduled for July 18, 1961. but was 
rescheduled to July 19, 1961, because of unfavorable 
weather conditions. The launch attempt of July 19. 

Figure 2-4. Launch of the Mercury-Redstone 4 from Cape 
Canaveral launch site on July 21, 1961. 

1961, was canceled at T— 10 minutes as a result of 
continued unfavorable weather. The launch was 
then rescheduled for July 21, 1961. The first half 
of the split launch countdown was begun at 6 :00 a.m. 
e.s.t. on July 20. 1961. at T-640 minutes. Space- 
craft preparation proceeded normally through the 
12-hour planned hold period for hydrogen peroxide 
and pyrotechnic servicing. Evaluation of the 
weather at this time affirmed favorable launch condi- 
tions. The second half of the countdown was there- 
fore begun at 2:30 a.m. e.s.t. on July 20. 1961. At 
T— 180 minutes, prior to adding liquid oxygen to 
the launch vehicle, a planned 1-hour hold was called 
for another weather evaluation. The weather 
evaluation was favorable and the countdown pro- 

ceeded from T- 180 minutes at 3:00 a.m. e.s.t. No 
further delays in the countdown were encoi'^+ered 
until T — 45 minutes. A 30-minute hold w ;d 
at this time to install a misalined hatch L At 
T — 30 minutes, a 9-minute hold was required to turn 
off the pad searchlights which interfere with launch- 
vehicle telemetry during launch. At T— 15 minutes, 
a 41-minute hold was required to await better cloud 
conditions. The count then proceeded from T— 15 
until lift-off. 

The pilot was in the spacecraft 3 hours and 22 
minutes prior to launch. 

Flight Description 

The MR-4 flight plan was very much the same as 
that for the MR-3. The flight profile is shown in 
figure 2-5. As shown, the range was 262.5 nautical 
miles, the maximum altitude was 102.8 nautical 
miles, and the period of weightlessness lasted for 
approximately 5 minutes. 

The sequence of events was as follows : 

At T — 35 seconds, the spacecraft umbilical was 
pulled and the periscope was retracted. During 
the boosted phase of flight, the flight-path angle was 
controlled by the launch-vehicle control system. 
Launch-vehicle cutoff occurred at T + 2 minutes 23 
seconds, at which time the escape tower clamp ring 
was released, and escape tower was rele. '-d_ by 
firing the escape and tower jettison rocke' >n 
seconds later, the spacecraft-to-launcl ie 
adapter clamp ring was separated, and the posi grade 
rockets fired to separate the spacecraft from the 
launch vehicle. The periscope was extended; the 
automatic stabilization and control system provided 
5 seconds of rate damping, followed by spacecraft 
turnaround. It then oriented the spacecraft to orbit 
attitude of -34°. 

Retrosequence was initiated by timer at T + 4 
minutes 46 seconds, which was 30 seconds prior to 
the spacecraft reaching its apogee. 

The astronaut assumed control of spacecraft atti- 
tude at T + 3 minutes 5 seconds and controlled the 
spacecraft by the manual proportional control system 
to T + 5 minutes 43 seconds. He initiated firing of 
the retrorockets at T — 5 minutes 10 seconds. From 
T— 5 minutes 43 seconds, he controlled the space- 
craft by the manual rate command system through 
reentry. The retrorocket package was jettisoned at 
T + 6 minutes 7 seconds. The drogue parachute 
was deployed at T + 9 minutes 41 seconds, and main 
parachute, at T+10 minutes 14 seconds. Landing 
occurred at T— 15 minutes 37 seconds. 


Figure 2-5. Flight 

A comparison of the flight parameters of MR-4 
and MR-3 spacecraft listed in table 2-1, shows that 
both flights provided similar conditions. 

Table 2-1. — Comparison of Flight Parameters for 
MR-3 and MR-4 Spacecraft 


MR 3 


Range, nautical miles. 

263. 1 


Maximum altitude, nai 

tical miles. . 



ie pressure, 



udinal load 



Maximum reentry 


load factor, g units 

11. 0 

11. 1 

Period of weightlessnes 



Earth-fixed velocity, ft 



Space-fixed velocity, ft 



The acceleration time history occurring during the 
MR-4 flight is shown in figure 2-6 and is very sim- 
ilar to that of the MR-3 flight fref. 1). 

The recovery-force deployment and spacecraft 
landing point are shown in figure 2-7. The space- 
craft was lost during the postlanding recovery period 
as a result of premature actuation of the explosively 
actuated side egress hatch. The astronaut egressed 
from the spacecraft immediately after hatch actua- 
tion and was retrieved after being in the water for 
alv>- f 3 to 4 minutes. 

profile for MrM. 




- \ 





, A, J 



1 1 1 

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 

Figure 2-6. Acceleration time history for MR^ flight. 

The spacecraft and its systems performed well on 
the MR-4 flight: the major difficulty was the as yet 
unexplained premature separation of the side egress 
hatch. A minor control problem was noted in that, 
design turning rates were not achieved with full stick 
deflection. This problem is believed to be due to 
control linkage rigging. 

Figure 2-7. Chart of recovery operations. 



1. Anon.: Proceedings of Conference on Results of the First U.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight. NASA, ,t. 

Health, and Nat. Acad Sci., June 6. 1961. 

2. Hammack, Jerome B., End Heberlic, Jack C: The Mercury-Redstone Program. [Preprint! 2238-61. American Kockrt 

Soc., Oct. 1961. 


By William K. Douglas, M.D., Astronaut Flight Surgeon, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; Carmault 
B. Jackson, Jr., M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; Ashton Graybiel, 
M.D., USN School of Aviation Medicine, Pensacola, Fla.; George Ruff, M.D., University of Penn- 
sylvania; Edward C. Knoblock, Ph. D., Walter Reed Army Medical Center; William S. Augerson, 
M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; and C. Patrick Laughlin, M.D., 
Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 

This paper presents the results of the clinical 
and biochemical examinations conducted on Astro- 
naut Virgil I. Grissom prior to and following 
the MR^l mission. The objectives of such an 
examination program were presented in the MR-3 
report on Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. (ref. 1). 
Basically, the health of the astronaut before and 
after the space flight was assessed and any altera- 
tions were sought out that might have resulted from 
the stresses imposed by the space flight. Similar 
medical and biochemical examinations had been ac- 
complished during the Mercury-Redstone centrifuge 
training sessions and provided data of comparative 

^^-is important to point out the limitations in 
< ing examination findings with specific flight 

si s. The last preflight examination was per- 
formed approximately 5 hours before lift-off and 
the final postflight examination 3 hours after space- 
craft landing. The strenuous effort by Astronaut 
Grissom during his recovery from the ocean may 
well have produced changes which overshadowed 
any flight induced effects. 

Astronaut Grissom was examined several times 
in the preflight period as two launch attempts were 
canceled before the actual flight on July 21, 1961. 
The initial clinical and biochemical examinations 
were performed on July 17, 1961, at which time 
questioning disclosed no subjective complaints. 
Positive physical findings were limited to shotty, 
nontender inguinal and axillary adenopathy, and 
mild pharyngeal lymphoid hyperplasia. The skin at 
the lower sternal electrode placement site exhibited 
a well circumscribed area (1 cm in diameter) of 
eruption. This lesion appeared to consist of about 
8 to 10 small pustules arising from hair follicles. 
Upon closer examination of this eruption in August 
1961, it became apparent that the pustules seen in 
1 id, by this later date, become inclusion cysts. 

Culture of these lesions in August 1961 was sterile. 
These lesions were attributed to the use of electrode 
paste and were also noted on the pilot of MR-3 

The preflight examination on July 21, 1961, is 
reported in detail. A feeling of mild "sore throat" 
was reported; otherwise the body systems review 
was negative. Psychiatric examination reported "no 
evidence of overt anxiety, that Astronaut Grissom 
explained that he was aware of the dangers of flight, 
but saw no gain in worrying about them." In fact, 
"he felt somewhat tired, and was less concerned 
about anxiety than about being sufficiently alert 
to do a good job." At the physical examination 
the vital signs ( table 3-1 ) were an oral temperature 
of 97.8 C F, blood pressure of 128/75 (right arm 
sitting), weight of 150.5 lb, pulse rate of 68, and 
respiration rate of 12. Inspection of the skin re- 
vealed there were small pustules at the site of the 
lower sternal electrode, but it was otherwise clear. 
The same shotty nontender inguinal and axillary 
nodes were felt. Eye, ear, nose, and mouth examina- 
tion was negative. There was slight to moderate 
oropharyngeal lymphoid hyperplasia. The trachea 
was midline, the neck normally flexible, and the 
thyroid gland unremarkable. The lungs were clear 
to percussion and auscultation throughout. Heart 
sounds were of normal quality, the rhythm was 
regular, and the heart was not enlarged to percus- 
sion. Palpitation of the abdomen revealed no 
spasm, tenderness, or abnormal masses. The geni- 
talia, back, and extremities were normal. Calf and 
thigh measurements were: 





15% in. 

15;/ 8 in. 

21 in. 

. 20% in. 

Neurological examination revealed no abnormality. 
An electroencephalogram, electrocardiogram, and 
chest X-ray were normal, unchanged from Septem- 
ber 1960. Vital capacity standing, measured with 
a bellows spirometer, was 5.0 liters. Analysis of 
the urine and blood (tables 3-II and 3— III > re- 
vealed no abnormality. 

As with the MR-3 flight, members of the medical 
examining team were eilher transported to the Grand 
Bahama Island debriefing site a day prior to launch 
or flew down immediately after launch. 

The initial postfligh: medical examination was 
conducted immediately after Astronaut Grissom ar- 
rived aboard the recovery aircraft carrier, USS 
Randolph, approximately 15 minutes after space- 
craft landing in the ocean. The examination was 
conducted by the same physicians who examined 
Astronaut Shepard aboard the USS Lake Champlain. 

The findings disclosed vital signs of rectal tem- 
perature of 100.4° F; pulse rate from 160 initially 
to 104 (supine at end of examination) : blood pres- 
sure of 120/85 LA sitting. 110/88 standing, and 
118/82 supine: weight of 147.2 pounds, and respira- 
tory rate of 28. On general inspection, the astro- 
naut appeared tired and was breathing rapidly; his 
skin was warm and moist. Eye, ear, nose, and 
throat examination repealed slight edema of the 
mucosa of the left nasal cavity and no other ab- 
normalities. Chest examination showed no signs 
of atelectasis although there was a high noise level 
in the examining room. No rales were heard and 
the pilot showed no tendency to cough. Vital ca- 
pacity measured with a bellows spirometer while 
still in suit was 4.5 liters. 

Peripheral pulses were described as normal and 
a left axillary node was noted. The abdomen was 
soft with normal bowel sounds. 

The pilot voided three times without fluid intake. 
The limited neurological examination disclosed no 
abnormalities. Extremity measurements were as 
follows : 

Calf Thigh 

Right 1SK in. | 20M in. 

Left 1SK in. j 20% in. 

After a short nap and breakfast he was flown to 
Grand Bahama Island, arriving approximately 3 
hours after spacecraft landing. His general appear- 
ance was much improved. Vital signs were recorded 

as a temperature of 98.4 ( oral ) ; blood pressure of 
125/85 sitting. 124/82 standing, 122/78 ~e; 
pulse rate of 90; and weight of 147.5 pound. 

Ophthalmological examination approximately 6 
hours postflight showed slight injection of the con- 
junctiva of the left eye. These findings, as well' as 
nasal mucosa edema, were ascribed to salt water 
exposure. The lungs remained clear to percussion 
and auscultation. The abdomen, genitalia, back, and 
extremities were normal. Neurological examination 
revealed "changes consistent with muscular fatigue 
in a normal individual." The electroencephalogram, 
electrocardiogram, and chest X-ray revealed no 
abnormality. Vital capacity measurement was 4.8 
and 4.9 liters. An exercise tolerance test (Harvard 
step) was within control range. 

Additional examinations in the ensuing 48 hours 
revealed no changes when compared with preflight 

The vital signs are summarized in table 3-1. Re- 
sults of the biochemical determination are presented 
in tables 3-II to 3-V. Control data from Redstone 
centrifuge experience are included. 

Table 3-VI shows comparisons between clinical 
observations from single simulated Redstone mis- 
sions conducted at the Johnsville human centrifuge 
(with a 5-psia 100-percent oxygen environment) and 
the MR^4 flight. The examinations were m? 1 " be- 
fore and after the simulation, at times compa :> 
those in the actual flight. 

An evaluation of the clinical and biochemical 
studies permits the following conclusions: 

(a) Astronaut Grissom was in good health prior 
to and following his MR-4 flight. The immediate 
postflight examination revealed changes consistent 
with general fatigue and sea water exposure. 

(b) Clinical examination disclosed no specific 
functional derangement that could be attributed to 
the spaceflight stresses. 

(c) No specific biochemical alteration occurred 
that could be attributed to a spaceflight stress effect. 

Acknowledgments — Special acknowledgment is 
paid to Drs. Robert C. Lanning fUSN) and Jerome 
Strong (USA) who conducted the physical exami- 
nation aboard the USS Randolph; Dr. James F. 
Culver of the USAF School of Aviation Medicine, 
who performed the ophthalmologic examinations; 
Dr. Phillip Cox, Andrews Air Force Base Hospital, 
who participated in the physical examinations ; and 
Dr. Francis Kruse of the Lackland Air Force Base 
Hospital, who performed the neurological exami- 
nations. Dr. Walter Frajola of Ohio State U 


sity made some of the biochemical determinations, Manned Spacecraft Center, collected and processed 
ar Ns Rita Rapp, Life Systems Division, NASA the biochemical specimens. 


1. Jackson, Carmault B., Jr., Douglas, William K., et al.: Results of Pre/light and Postflight Medico! Examinations. 
Proc. Conf. on Results of the First U.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sci. 
June 6, 1961, pp. 31-36. 


Glucose : 

Nelson, M. : Photometric Adaptation oj Somogyi Method for Determination of Glucose. Jour. Biol. Chem., vol. 153, 
1944, pp. 375-380. 
Total protein, albumin: 

Cohn, C, and Wolfson, W. G. : Studies in Serum Proteins. I — The Chemical Estimation of Albumin and of the 

Globulin Fractions in Serum. Jour. Lab. Clin. Med., vol. 32, 1947, pp. 1203-1207. 
Gornall, A. G., Bahdawill, C. J., and David, M. M.: Determination of Serum Proteins by Means of the Biuret 

Reaction. Jour. Biol. Chem., vol. 177, 1949, pp. 751-766. 
Urea nitrogen: 

Gentzkow, C. J., and Masen, J. M.: An Accurate Method for the Determination of Blood Urea Nitrogen by Direct 
Nesslerization. Jour. Biol. Chem., vol. 143, 1942, pp. 531-544. 

Diehl, H., and Ellincboe, J. L.: Indicator for Titration of Calcium in Presence of Magnesium With Disodium Diky- 
drogen Ethylene Diamine tetraacetate. Anal. Chem., vol. 28, 1956, pp. 882-884. 
Chloride : 

Schales, 0., and Schales, S. S. : A Simple and Accurate Method for the Determination of Chloride in Biological 
Fluids. Jour. Biol. Chem., vol. 140, 1941, pp. 879-884. 
Epinephrine and norepinephrine: 

Weil-Malherbe, H., and Bone, A. D.: The Adrenergic Amines of Human Blood. Lancet, vol. 264, 1953, pp. 974-977. 

Gray, I. Young, J. G., Keegan, J. F., Meheman, B., and Southerland, E. W. : Adrenaline and Norepinephrine Con- 
centration in Plasma of Humans and Rats. Clin. Chem., vol. 3, 1957, pp. 239-248. 
Sodium potassium by flame photometry: 

Bebkman S., Henhy, R. J., Golub, O. J., and Seagalove, M.: Tungstic Acid Precipitation of Blood Proteins. Jour. 

" ^ol. Chem., vol. 206, 1954, pp. 937-943. 
V ndelic acid: 

. derm an. F. W„ Jr., et al.: A Method for the Determination of 3-Methoxy4-Hydroxymandelic Acid ("Vanil- 
mandelic Acid") for the Diagnosis of Pheochromocytoma. Am. Jour. Clin. Pathol., vol. 34, 1960, pp. 293-312. 

Table 3-1.— Vital Signt 

-7 hr 
(Cape Canaveral) 

Body weight nude (pos 
Temperature, °F 


Vital capacity (bellows spiro 

147 lb 3 oz 

147 lb 8 oz 

100.4 (rectal) 

98.4 (oral) 

160 to 104 













Table 3-IL— Results of Urine Tests 


MR-4 flight 







+ 30 

+ 2 hr 



+ 1 hr 

+ 3 hr 

+ 6hr 

+ 13 hr 

+ 24 hr 

+ 26 



hr 1 

bamp e to ume, m 






Specific gravity. ..... 

1. 023 





1. 010 














































PH - b 























K, mEq/L 












CI, mEq/L 









Microscopic examina- 


o formed elements observed 

Breakfast eaten follow ing previous sample. 

Table 3— III. — Peripheral Blood Findings 



-3 days 

+ 1 hr 

+ 5 hr i 

+ 49 ' 




42. 7 



14.6 ; 


White blood cells, per mm 3 


7, 200 

9, 100 j 

6, 700 



4.67 j 

4. 71 

Differential blood count : 







66 1 








2 : 


Basophiles, percent 





1 Acid Hematin methoc. 


Table 3-IV— Blood Chemistry Findings 



MR 4 flight 





+ 30 min 

+2 hr 

-4 days 

+ lhr 

+ 5hr 

+ 49 hr 

Sodium (serum) mEq'L 








Potassium (serum) mEq'L 




4. 1 











Protein, total 

7. 5 






4. 1 







Globulin, gi 100 ml 




4. 15 









Glucose, mg/100 ml 




5. 1 



1 Normal values: 0. 0 to 0. 4 M g/L 

2 Normal values; 4. 0 to 8. 0 itg/h 

Table 3-V. — Plasma Enzymes Determinations 



sterase acetylcholine .... 
Peptidase leucylamino. . . . 


merase phosphohexose . 



Alk phos. 

150 to 250 




150 to 250 

















































Table 3-VI. — Comparison of Physical Examination Findings During Simulated and Actual Flight 

Change. . 
Weight, lb: 
Before . . 


Before . . 
Blood pressure (LA), mm Hg: 


Vital capacity, liters: 


Postflight physical findings. 

i Simulated Redstone I 









1 Hi/68 




Chest clear to P and 
A; slightly increased 
DTR's; no change 
in ECG; no pete- 
chia; appears warm 
and tired. 

clear; DTR's 

Chest clear; no pete- 
chia; appeared 




By C. Patrick Lauchlin, M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; and William 
S. Augerson, M.D., Life Systems Division, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 


The space flight of Mercury-Redstone 4 accom- 
plished several life-science objectives. Specifically, 
a second United States astronaut experienced the 
complex stresses associated with manned space 
flight; physiological data reflecting the responses 
of a second United States astronaut to space flight 
were obtained ; and additional experience was gained 
in the support of manned space flight which will 
influence procedures in subsequent operations. 

The Space Flight Environment 

After two attempts at launching in the 4 days pre- 
ceding the flight, Astronaut Grissom entered the 
■raft at 3:58 a.m. e.s.t. on July 21, 1961. His 
ation had proceeded smoothly, beginning at 
1:10 a.m. e.s.t. as discussed in paper 5. He was 
wearing the Mercury full-pressure suit and was posi- 
tioned in his contour couch in the semisupine posi- 
tion, with head and back raised approximately 10° 
and legs and thighs flexed at approximately 90° 
angles. This position was maintained until egress 
from the spacecraft after landing. One-hundred- 
percent oxygen was supplied when pressure suit con- 
nections to the spacecraft environmental control sys- 
tem were completed. The total time in the spacecraft 
during the countdown was 3 hours 22 minutes. Dur- 
ing the extended countdown, Astronaut Grissom per- 
formed numerous spacecraft checks and "relaxed" 
with periodic deep breathing, muscle tensing, and 
movement of his limbs. At the lift-off signal, the 
Redstone launch vehicle ignited and accelerated 
smoothly, attaining a peak of 6.3g at T + 2 minutes 
22 seconds. Then the spacecraft separated from the 
launch vehicle and gravity forces were abruptly 
terminated. A period of 5 seconds ensued while 
spacecraft turnaround and rate damping occurred. 
During the 5 minutes of weightless flight which fob 
1, Astronaut Grissom was quite active in per- 

forming vehicle control maneuvers and with monitor- 
ing of spacecraft systems. He was, in his own words, 
"fascinated" with the view from the spacecraft win- 
dow. The firing of the retrorockets at T + 5 minutes 
10 seconds resulted in a brief lg deceleration. At 
T + 7 minutes 28 seconds the 0.05g relay signaled 
the onset of reentry, and deceleration forces climbed 
quickly to llg. Drogue and main parachute actua- 
tion occurred at T + 9 minutes 41 seconds and T + 
10 minutes 13 seconds, respectively, and a 4g spike 
was seen with opening of the main parachute. Land- 
ing occurred at T + 15 minutes 37 seconds. 7:35 
a.m. e.s.t. 

Suit and cabin pressure levels declined rapidly 
from launch ambient levels, as programed, and sta- 
bilized at approximately 5 psia with the suit pressure 
slightly above cabin pressure. These pressures were 
maintained until snorkle valve opening at T + 9 
minutes 30 seconds during parachute descent. 

Suit inlet temperature ranged from 55° F to 62° F 
during countdown and flight and reached a level of 
73° F after approximately 9 minutes on the water 
after landing. 

Monitoring and Data Sources 

Medical monitoring techniques and biosensor 
application were identical with those utilized in the 
MR-3 mission (ref. 1). The total monitoring time 
was approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes, com- 
mencing with entrance into the spacecraft and end- 
ing in loss of signal after landing. Physiological 
data were monitored from the medical consoles in 
Mercury Control Central and the Redstone block- 
house, and signals were received during the later 
flight stages at Bermuda and on downrange ships. 
Again the astronaut's inflight voice transmissions 
and postflight debriefing were particularly signifi- 
cant as data sources. (Samples of inflight tele- 
metry data recorded at various monitoring stations 
are shown in figs. 4-1 to 4—4.) In addition, the 


Figure 4-L Blockhouse telemetry record obtained dur 

1 Sec |t H 

g countdown (5;43 a.m. e 

canceled mission of July 19 with 4 hours of count- 
down provided interesting comparative physiologi- 
cal data. Astronaut Grisfiom's physiologic responses 
to 17 Mercury- Redstone g-profile centrifuge runs 
were also available as dynamic control data. Un- 
fortunately, the astronaut observer camera film was 
lost with the sunken spacecraft. 

Results of Observations of Physiological 

Figures 4-5 and 4-6 depict the pulse rate during 
the countdown, tabulatec by a 10-second duration 
pulse count for each minute of count time. Pulse 
rates occurring at similar events in the canceled mis- 
sion countdown are also indicated. The countdown 
pulse rate ranged from 65 to 116 per minute until 
shortly before lift-off. As plotted in figure 4-7, 
pulse rate began accelerating from T— 1 minutes 
through launch, attaining a rate of 162 beats per 
minute at spacecraft separation and turnaround 
maneuver. Some slight rate decline trend was ap- 
parent during the first 2 minutes of weightlessness, 
returning to a high of 171 beats per minute with 

retrorocket firing. The pulse rate was above ±a0 
beats per minute during all but a few seconds of 
weightlessness. Pulse rate declined slightly follow- 
ing reentry deceleration and then fluctuated con- 
siderably during parachute descent and was 137 
beats per minute on landing. All inflight pulse rates 
were determined every 15 seconds, counting for 10- 
second durations. 

Electrocardiographic trace quality from both 
sternal and axillary leads was quite satisfactory dur- 
ing countdown and flight. Sinus tachycardia and 
occasional sinus arrhythmia were present. No ab- 
normalities of rhythm or wave form were observed. 

Respiratory rate during countdown varied from 
12 to 24 breaths per minute as shown in figures 4-5 
and 4-6. Unfortunately, respiratory trace quality, 
which had been quite acceptable during countdown, 
deteriorated during most of the flight, precluding 
rate tabulation. Some readable trace returned late 
in the flight, and a high of 32 breaths per minute 

Body temperature (rectal) varied from 99.5° 
mediately after astronaut entry into the spac 


to 98.6° just before launch. There was a gradual 
i'- se to 99.2° in the latter phases of flight. These 
* i are considered to be insignificant, and, sub- 

jectively, temperature comfort was reported to be 
quite satisfactory during the countdown and flight. 

Astronaut Grissom made coherent and appro- 
priate voice transmissions throughout the flight. At 
the postflight debriefing, he reported a number of 
subjective impressions gained while in flight. He 
noted that the vibration experienced at maximum 
dynamic pressure was "very minor" and did not 
interfere with vision. A brief tumbling sensation 
was noted at launch-vehicle cutoff. This sensation 
was only momentary and was not accompanied by 
nausea or disturbed vision. A distinct feeling of 

sitting upright and moving backward was described 
and the sensation reversed to forward travel with 
retrorocket firing. This orientation may have been 
related to his position relative to Cape Canaveral; 
that is, observing the Cape receding behind through 
the spacecraft window. No disturbances in well- 
being were reported during the flight and the ab- 
sence of gravity produced no specifically recognized 
symptoms. The astronaut was not aware of his 
heart beating throughout the mission. Hearing was 
adequate throughout the flight according to pilot 
reports and voice responses. Near and distant 
visual acuity and color vision appeared to be nor- 
mally retained. The jettisoned escape tower was 
followed for several seconds through the spacecraft 


Fk.i:ke 4 3. Bermuda Mercury Station record (10 nun/sec) taken just before 0.05g as period of weightlessness was 
nearing end. 

window and a planet (Venus) was observed just be- 
fore burnout. Vivid contrasting color was reported 
during observation of the sky and earth. The pro- 
gramed turnaround and other maneuvers of the 
spacecraft produced charging levels of illumination 
within the cabin, necessitating considerable visual 

Improved environmental control system instru- 
mentation permitted a extermination of astronaut 
oxygen consumption during the countdown. This 
was calculated to be abou : 500 cc/ min. A very high 
usage rate was noted during flight as a result of 
system leakage, and mettbolic utilization could not 
be determined. 

Astronaut Grissom's Mercury-Redstone centrifuge 
pulse rates were tabulated and are presented graph- 
ically in figure 4-7 for comparison with the flight 
pulse data. The highest rate noted for his centrifuge 
experience w r as 135 beats per minute. Also shown in 
figure 4-7 are Astronaut Grissom's respiratory rate 
responses during four Mercury-Redstone centrifuge 


An evaluation of the physiological responses of 
the astronaut of the MR^I space flight permits the 
following conclusions: 


Respiratory trace. (Some variations represent speech) 

ECG trace 1 (Axillary - small ampitude displacements due to muscle movement) 

ECG 2 (Sternal) Showing sinus tachycardii 

Figure 4^1. Telemetry-aircraft record obtained 9 r 

(1) There is no evidence that the space flight 
stresses encountered in the MR^l mission produced 
detrimental physiological effects. 

{2) The pulse-rate responses reflected Astronaut 
Grissom's individual reaction to the multiple stresses 

imposed and were consistent with intact perform- 
ance function. 

(3) No specific physiologic findings could be 
attributed to weightlessness or to acceleration- 
weightlessness transition stresses. 

iright, D. : Bioinstrumentation in MR-3 Flight. Proc 
1 Space Flight, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sci., 

Conf. on Kesults of the 
June 6, 1961, pp. 37^3. 





By William K. Douglas, M.D., Astronaut Flight Surgeon, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 


This paper describes some of the operational as- 
pects of the medical support of the two manned sub- 
orbital space flights, designated Mercury-Redstone 3 
and Mercury-Redstone 4. The results of the medical 
investigative procedures are reported in paper 3 of 
the present volume and in reference 1. These op- 
erational aspects can be conveniently divided into 
three phases: 

(a) The early preparation period beginning 

about 3 days before a launch and conclud- 
ing at about T — 12 hours 

(b) The immediate preflight preparation 

(c) The debriefing period 

Preparation of the Pilot 

fart of the philosophy behind the decision to ex- 
ecute manned suborbital space flights was to provide 
experience and practice for subsequent orbital" 
flights. In light of this philosophy, it was decided 
that during suborbital flights all preparations will 
be made for the orbital flight. This explains the 
reason for such things as the low residue diet and 
other seemingly inappropriate steps in the prepara- 
tion and support of the pilot. 

Three days before the planned launch day, the 
pilot and the backup pilot start taking all of their 
meals in a special feeding facility. Here, a special 
low residue diet is provided. Preparation of this 
diet is supervised by an accredited dietitian, and the 
actual preparation is performed by a cook whose sole 
duty during this period is to prepare these meals. 
One extra serving of each item is prepared for each 
meal. This sample meal is kept under refrigeration 
for 24 hours so that it will be available for study 
in the event that the pilot develops a gastrointestinal 
illness during this period or subsequently. An effort 
is also made to assure that several people eat each 

meal so that an epidemiological study can be facili- 
tated if necessary. The menu for these meals was 
provided by Miss Beatrice Finklestein of the Aero- 
space Medical Laboratory, Aeronautical Systems 
Division, U.S. Air Force Systems Command. The 
diet is tasty and palatable as is shown in table 5-1 
which gives a typical day's menu. It has caused no 
gastrointestinal upsets and is well tolerated by all 
persons who have consumed it. In order to assure 
that it would be well tolerated, all of the Mercury 
astronauts consumed this diet for a 3-day period 
during one of their visits to Wright-Patterson Air 
Force Base in one of the early phases of their train- 
ing program. The use of a separate feeding facility 
provides the ability to control strictly the sanitation 
of food preparation during this preflight period. 
Such control could not as easily be exercised if 
meals were taken in a community cafeteria. 

DurhTg this 3-day period before the launch day, 
the pilot lives in the Crew Quarters of Hangar "S" 
which is located in the industrial complex of Cape 
Canaveral. Here he is provided with a comfortable 
bed, pleasant surroundings, television, radio, reading 
materials and, above all, privacy. In addition to 
protection from the curious-minded public, the estab- 
lishment of the pilot and the backup pilot in the 
Crew Quarters also provides a modicum of isolation 
from carriers of infectious disease organisms. This 
isolation is by no means complete and it is not in- 
tended to be. An effort is made to provide isolation 
from new arrivals in the community, however. It 
is felt that a certain amount of natural immunity 
has been acquired by the pilots in their day-to-day 
contacts with their associates at the launch site. 
Contact with visitors from different sections of the 
country might, however, introduce a strain to which 
no immunity had been acquired. Consideration was 
given at one time to the use of strict isolation tech- 
niques during this preparation period, but this 


thought was abandoned because of its impracticality. 
The pilot plays a vital role in the preparations for 
his own flight. In order to be effective, a period of 
strict isolation would have to last for about 2 weeks; 
thus, the services of these important individuals 
would he unavailable for that period. Further, it 
was felt that a 2-week period of strict isolation would 
constitute a psychological burden which could not 
be justified by the results obtained. As mentioned 
previously, the pilot and his colleagues play a vital 
role in the preparation of the spacecraft and its 
launch vehicle for the flight. This period begins 
about 2 weeks prior to launch and continues up until 
the day before the launch. During this period of 
time, the pilot, on occasions, must don his full pres- 
sure suit and occupy the role of "capsule observer" 
during the course of certain checkout procedures. 
Advantage is taken of these exercises to perform 
launch rehearsals of varying degrees of sophisti- 
cation. The most complete of these exercises occurs 
during the simulated flight which takes place 2 or 3 
days prior to the launch. This dress rehearsal dupli- 
cates the launch countdown in event time and in 
elapsed time, but it occurs at a more convenient hour 
of the day. It not only enables those responsible for 
the readiness of the spacecraft and the launch vehicle 
to assure themselves of the status of these com- 
ponents, but it also allows those directly concerned 
with the preparation and insertion of the pilot to 
assure themselves of the.r own state of readiness. 
Finally, these exercises provide a certain degree of 
assurance and familiarity for the pilot himself. 

On the evening before the flight, the pilot is en- 
couraged to retire at an early hour, but he is not re- 
quired to do so. The pilot of MR-3 spacecraft re- 
tired at 10:15 p.m. e.s.t, and the pilot of MR-1 
spacecraft retired at 9:0C p.m. e.s.t. In both cases 
the pilots fell asleep shortly after retiring without 
benefit of sedatives or drugs of any kind. Their 
sleep was sound, and insofar as they could remember, 
was dreamless. The medical countdown for MR-4 
flight called for awakening the pilot at 1 : 10 a.m. e.s.t. 
(table 5—1 1 > . This time was 65 minutes later than 
the wake-up time called for in the MR-3 countdown. 
Time was saved here by allowing the pilot to shave 
and bathe before retiring instead of after awakening 
in the morning. Another 15 minutes was saved by 
performing the final operational briefing in the 
transfer van on the way to the launch pad, rather 
than after arrival as was done in MR-3 flight. When 
they were awakened on the morning of the launch, 
both pilots appeared to have been sleeping soundly. 

There was no startle reaction on awakening, and the 
immediate postwaking state was characterir 
eager anticipation and curiosity as to the prog, 
the countdown. After awakening, the pilots per- 
formed their morning ablutions and consumed a high 
protein breakfast consisting of fruit, steak, eggs, 
juice, and milk. No coffee was permitted during the 
24-hour period preceding the flight because of its 
tendency to inhibit sleep. No coffee was permitted 
for breakfast on launch morning because of its 
diuretic properties. 

After breakfast, the pilots donned bathrobes and 
were taken into the physical examination room where 
the preflight physical was performed. This exami- 
nation is distinct from that conducted for the purpose 
of collecting background scientific data, which was 
performed by several examiners 2 to 3 days prior to 
the flight. This early examination is reported in 
paper 3 of the present volume and in reference 1. 
The physical examination performed on the morning 
of the flight was designed to ascertain the pilot's fit- 
ness to perform his mission. It was designed to dis- 
cover any acute illness or infirmity which might 
contraindicate the flight. 

These examinations failed to reveal anything of 
significance. The physiological bradycardia (pulse 
rate 60 to 70 1 and normotensive (blood pressure 
110/70) state both give some indication of the 
reserved air of confidence which typifies h. 
these pilots. It is important to emphasize at «, 
point that no medication of any kind was consumed 
by either of these pilots during the several days pre- 
ceding the launch. Following the preflight physical 
examination, each of the pilots was given a short 
battery of psychological tests. In the case of the 
MR^. pilot, it was possible to provide a short inter- 
view by a psychiatrist. Both the testing and the 
interview were part of the medical investigative pro- 
gram and are reported in paper 3 of the present 
volume and reference 1. Suffice it to say at this point 
that no abnormalities were detected. 

The next step in the preparatory procedures was 
the application of the biological sensor harness (figs. 
5—1 and 5—2 ) . This harness is described in detail 
in reference 2. The only difference between the 
sensors used in MR-3 and MR^l flights was an 
alteration of the respiration sensor housing for the 
MR— 4 flight to accommodate the microphone of 
different configuration used in the later flight. The 
surface of the electrode next to the skin is prepared 
with an adhesive material identical to that found 
on conventional adhesive tape (elastoplast ' 


Ficlre 5-1. Three views of a typical electrocardiograph floating electrode as used in Project Mercury. The surface of 
the electrode applied to the skin (right) is first painted with adhesive and then filled with bentonite paste. 

This preparation must be done at least 15 
,tes in advance since the solvent for the adhesive 
is irritating to the skin and must be given ample 
opportunity to evaporate before the sensor is ap- 
plied. The dermal surface of this electrode is first 
filled with bentonite paste and the electrode is ap- 
plied directly to the skin. The skin is first prepared 
by clipping the hair where necessary and by cleans- 
ing with surgical detergent (FSN 6505-116-1740). 
The sensor locations have been previously marked 
on all Mercury pilots by the use of a tiny (about 2 
millimeters in diameter ) tattooed dot at each of the 
four electrode sites. After the sensor is applied to 
the skin, the uppermost surface of the screen is 
covered with the bentonite paste and a small square 
of electrician's plastic tape is applied over the opening 
in the disk. The entire electrode is then covered 
with a square of moleskin adhesive tape. This as- 
sembly becomes, then, a floating electrode. The 
electrician's tape serves to retard somewhat the evap- 
oration of water from the bentonite paste. 

The deep body temperature probe (fig. 5-2) is 
simply a flexible rubber-covered thermistor. Since 
it is difficult, if not impossible, to sterilize this probe 

without causing deterioration of the device, each 
pilot is provided with his own personal sensor har- 
ness. This same harness is used in all practice exer- 
cises in which the individual participates. It is 
simply washed with surgical detergent after each 

After the harness is applied, the integrity of the 
sensors is checked by the use of a modified Dallon 
Cardioscope [fig. 5-3). With this device, both 
electrocardiographic leads can be displayed on the 
oscilloscope, and the amplitude of the QRS (Q- 
wave, R-wave, S-wave) complex can be measured 
roughly by comparing it with a standard 1 -millivolt 
current. The integrity of the respiration sensor can 
also be demonstrated by displaying the trace on the 
oscilloscope. No effort is made to calibrate the 
respiration sensor at this time. The temperature 
probe is also checked by use of a Wheatstone bridge. 

After the sensors have been applied, the pilot 
moves to the pressure-suit room where he dons his 
suit. Since the most uncomfortable period of the 
countdown is that time spent in the suit, a check is 
made with the blockhouse to determine the status 
of the count. If there has been a delay or if one is 


anticipated, the suit donning is held up at this point. 
At some convenient time during the day before the 
flight, the suit has been assembled and inflated to 
5 psi, and a leak check is made. The "static" leak 
rate is determined at this time. These values were 
190 cc/min and 140 cc/min for the MR-3 and 
MR-1 flights, respectively. After the pilot has 
donned his suit, he is placed in a couch in the pres- 
sure-suit room and the suit is again inflated to 5 psi. 
The ventilation flow is then turned off and a "dy- 
namic" leak rate is obtained by reference to the flow 
of oxygen necessary to maintain this pressure. The 
dynamic leak rate for the MR-3 flight was 400 
cc/min; for the MR— 4, it was 175 cc/min. The 
term "leak rate" in this dynamic situation is used 
rather loosely since it encompasses not only the ac- 
tual leak rate of the suit but also the metabolic use 
of oxygen. Exact measurement of this rate is 
further complicated by the presence of a breathing 
occupant of the suit; cianges in the occupant's 
volume occasioned by respiratory movements are 
reflected as changes in the flow rate, but a rough es- 

timation is possible even under these circumstances. 

After the pilot is laced in the couch but b ■' ~e 
the dynamic leak rate is determined, the tor 
per of the suit is opened and the amplifier fo. ,.e 
respiration sensor is delivered. With the visor 
closed, and with the microphone positioned as for 
flight, the amplifier is adjusted to provide a signal 
strong enough to be easily observed but not so 
strong as to overload the spacecraft telemetry equip- 
ment. Once the dynamic leak rate has been de- 
termined, the suit is not again disturbed except to 
open the helmet visor. No zippers are permitted to 
be loosened from that time on. Upon completion 
of the suit donning procedure, the pilot returns to 
the examination room where the biosensors are 
again checked on the oscilloscope. This would de- 
tect any disturbance created by the donning of the 
suit, and permit it to be corrected at this point rather 
than later. 

If the medical count and the main countdown are 
still in agreement, a portable ventilating unit is at- 
tached to the suit and the pilot and insertion team 

t • 



Figure 5-2. Respiration sensor (left) and deep body temperature probe (right). 

proceed to the transfer van. Upon his arrival at 
-nsfer van, the onboard ventilation system is 
,-d. The integrity of the biosensors is again 
checked by use of a Model 350, 8-channel Sanborn 
recorder. The Sanborn recorder remains attached 
to the pilot from this point on, and a continuous re- 
cording of the measured biological functions is 
started. A sample record taken while the van was 
in motion is shown in figure 5-4. 

Upon arrival at the launch site, two final strips 
of record are obtained from the Sanborn recorder 
and delivered to the medical monitors at the block- 
house and at the Mercury Control Center. Both of 
these records contain a 1 -millivolt standardization 
pulse, and are utilized by the monitors to compare 
with their records as obtained from the spacecraft. 
When notified to do so by the blockhouse, the port- 
able ventilating unit is reattached. The pilot, flight 
surgeon, pressure-suit technician, and a pilot ob- 

server (astronaut) leave the transfer van and proceed 
up the elevator to the level of the spacecraft. 

At this point, the preparation of the pilot ceases 
and the actual insertion of the pilot into the space- 
craft commences. After the pilot climbs into the 
spacecraft and positions himself in the couch, the 
pressure-suit technician attaches the ventilation 
hoses, the communication line, the biosensor leads, 
and the helmet visor seal hose, and finally, he attaches 
the restraint harness in position but only fastens it 
loosely. At this point, the suit and environmental 
control system is purged with 100-percent oxygen 
until such a time as analysis of the gas in the system 
shows that the oxygen concentration exceeds 95 per- 
cent. When the purge of the suit system is com- 
pleted, the pressure-suit technician tightens the re- 
straint harness; the flight surgeon makes a final in- 
spection of the interior of the spacecraft and of the 
pilot, and the hatch installation commences. During 

Ficure 5-3. Cardioscope used to check out the biosensor harness. The lead into the suit is shown on the lower right, and 
the switching box to display respiration and temperature is shown on the lower left. 


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rft.i.m-; 5-4. Sample record f:om Sanborn recorder taken 111 the transfer van. I he van was m motion at the lime this 
recording was made. 


the insertion procedures, it is the flight surgeon's 
to monitor the suit purge procedure and to 
. by to assist the pressure-suit technician or the 
pilot in any way he can. The final inspection of the 
pilot by the flight surgeon gives some indication of 
the pilot's emotional state at the last possible oppor- 
tunity. The flight surgeon during this period is in 
continuous communication w-ith the blockhouse sur- 
geon and is capable of taking certain steps to analyze 
the cause of biosensor malfunction, should it occur. 
No such malfunctions occurred during the course of 
these two flights. After hatch installation is com- 
pleted, the flight surgeon is released and proceeds to 
the forward medical station where he joins the point 
team of the land recovery forces. 


After a successful launch, the flight surgeon leaves 
his position on the point team and proceeds imme- 
diately to the Mercury Control Center. Here he fol- 
lows the progress of the recovery operations until 
it is clear where his services will be needed next. In 
the event the pilot is injured or is ill. the flight sur- 
geon is taken by air to the aircraft carrier in the 
recovery area. If it is clear that the pilot is unin- 
jured, as was true for MR-3 and MR-4 flights, the 
flight surgeon joins the debriefing team and is flown 
\e medical care and debriefing site at Grand 
.ma Island, British West Indies. During this 
time, the pilot is undergoing a preliminary physical 
examination and debriefing aboard the carrier. In 
both of the flights under discussion, the debriefing 
team arrived at Grand Bahama Island about 30 min- 
utes before the pilot who was flown there from the 
carrier. The debriefing site is a two-room prefabri- 
cated building with an adjacent heliport. The heli- 
port is provided in the event it is more convenient, 
or is necessary by virtue of his physical status, to 
carry the pilot from the surface vessel to the de- 
briefing site by helicopter. 

Immediately upon their arrival at Grand Bahama 
Island, the pilots were taken to the debriefing build- 
ing where the flight surgeon performed a careful 
physical examination. Here again, the purpose of 
this examination was not so much to collect scientific 
material as to assure that the pilot was uninjured 
and in good health. When this preliminary exam- 
ination had been completed, the pilots were exam- 
ined by a surgeon. No evidence of injury was 
found by this second examiner. Next, an internist 
examined the pilots. Laboratory specimens (blood 
urine) were obtained and the pilots were exam- 

ined by an ophthalmologist, a neurologist, and a 
psychiatrist. Chest X-rays (anteroposterior and 
right lateral) were taken. The results of all of 
these examinations were, in the main, negative and 
have been reported in paper 3 of the present volume 
and reference 1 . Upon completion of the physical 
examination, the pilots were turned over to the engi- 
neering debriefing team. 

The original plan for the pilot's postrecovery 
activities permitted him to remain at Grand Bahama 
Island for 48 hours after his arrival. This period 
was believed to be necessary to permit full and ade- 
quate recovery from the effects of the flight. In the 
case of the MR-3 flight, it was possible for the pilot 
to remain for 72 hours. The last day of this period 
was devoted to complete rest and relaxation. The 
additional 24-hour period was occasioned by the 
scheduling of the postflight press conference and 
public welcome in Washington, D.C. It was quite 
apparent that the postflight rest period was benefi- 
cial to the pilot. There is no objective measurement 
of this, but the day-to-day observations of the pilot 
showed him to be benefited by this relative isolation. 
In the case of the MR-4 flight, the pilot seemed to 
be recovering rapidly from the fatiguing effects of 
his flight and the postflight water-survival experi- 
ence. His fatigue was more evident when seen 12 
hours after his arrival at Grand Bahama Island than 
that observed in the pilot of the MR-3 flight when 
seen at the same time. On the following day, how- 
ever, the MR-4 pilot seemed to be at about the same 
level of recovery as had been observed in the MR-3 
pilot. For this reason, it was decided to permit the 
pilot of the MR-4 flight to return to Cocoa Beach, 
Fla., for a press conference at a time some 18 to 20 
hours before that called for in the original plan. 
No evident permanent effects of this early return 
can be described, and the pilot performed well in 
his public appearances: but his fatigue state was 
much longer in dissipating as he was seen in the 
days subsequent to the flight. Again, this slower 
recovery cannot be demonstrated with objective 
findings, and must be accepted only as a clinical 
observation of the writer. 

Concluding Remarks 

The flight surgeon's activities and duties in sup- 
port of two manned suborbital flights have been de- 
scribed and certain observations of the flight surgeon 
have been recorded. In summary, it is important 
to point out three items. 


(1) During the 12-hour period preceding the 
launch, it is vital that the preparation of the pilot 
follow the countdown with clocklike precision. This 
precision becomes more urgent as the time ap- 
proaches for insertion of the pilot into the space- 
craft. In order to accomplish this precision, it is 
necessary to practice the preparation procedures 
time and time again. Time-motion studies are nec- 
essary. In the training program for the Mercury- 
flights, each insertion of as astronaut into the cen- 
trifuge was performed just as if it were a real launch. 
At times during the checkout of the spacecraft, it 
was necessary to insert an astronaut into the space- 
craft in an altitude chamber. Each of these events 
was conducted as for a launch. Even with these 
many opportunities to practice and perfect tech- 
niques, some changes were made after the MR-3 
flight for the MR-i flight. The fact that no delays 

were occasioned by the preparation procedures at- 
tests to the value of these repeated practice ses? 

(2) Very early in the planning for manned . 
flights, it was decided to train a backup man tor 
each position in the medical support complex. A 
backup astronaut was always available; a backup 
flight surgeon was trained; and even a backup 
driver for the transfer van was available. These 
backup men not only provided substitutes of ready 
accessibility, but also permitted each person involved 
to get some rest on occasion. The primary individ- 
ual was then capable of performing his task in an 
alert and conscientious manner on the actual day 
of the launch. 

(3) In future manned flights, the planned 48- 
hour minimum debriefing period should be ob- 
served and even extended to include a 24-hour 
period of complete rest if indicated by the stresses 
experienced during the flight. 


C. B., Douglas, William K., et aL: Results of Prefiight and Postfiight Medical Examinations. Proc. Conf. 
ilta of the First L.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sci., June fi, 
i. 31-36. 

lues P., and Wheelwright, Charles D.: Biomedical Instrumentation in MR-3 Flight. Proc. Conf. on Results 
First U.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sci., June 6, 1961, 

of the Fii 
pp. 37-43. 

Breakfast : 

Orange juice 

Cream of wheat 

Cinnamon or nutmeg 

Scrambled eggs 

Crisp Canadian bacon.. 
Toast I white bread! ... 


Strawberry jelly 

Coffee with sugar 


Chicken and rice soup.. 

Table 5-1. — Sample Low-Residue Menu 
[Third day prior to space flight] 

■2 cup, cooked 
._ Few grains 


. 2 to 3 slices 
. 1 to 2 slices 
.__ 1 teaspoon 
. 1 tablespoon 
No limit 

-1 cup 

Baked potato (.without skin) 1 medium 

Cottage cheese 2 rounded tablespoons 

Bread (white) 
Sliced peaches ( 

. 4 our 

Baked chicken (white meat) 4 ounces 

Steamed rice 1 cup 

Pureed peas '/i cup 

Melba toast 1 to 2 slices 

Butter 1 teaspoon 

Lemon sherbet : }i cup 

Sugar cookies 2 to 3 

Coffee or tea with sugar No limit 


Table 5 II.— .4 Comparison of the Medical Countdown of MR-3 and MR-4 Flights 











( 2 ) 





— 355 


— 290 








Sensor a > jlication 





Suit donnin 

— 240 


— 205 


Pressure check 

— 210 

3 -.30 


















Begin insertion 








1 Planned time during countdown according to the launch document. 

2 Actual time event occurred. 




By Robert B. Voas, Ph. D-, Head, Training Office, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; John J. Van Bockel, 
Training Office, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; Raymond G. Zedekar, Training Office, NASA 
Manned Spacecraft Center; and Paul W. Backer, McDonnell Aircraft Corp. 


This paper presents a second report on the ability 
of the pilot to operate the space vehicle and perform 
all associated space-flight functions during Mercury 
flights. As with the previous paper, the analysis is 
directed toward establishing the capability of the 
man to perform in the weightless environment of 
space with essentially the same proficiency which he 
demonstrates under the more normal terrestrial con- 
ditions. The results of the analysis of the MR-3 
flight indicated that the pilot was able to perform 
the space-flight functions, not only within the toler- 
ances required for the successful completion of the 
mission, but within the performance levels demon- 

l ed in fixed-base trainers on the ground under 
tially optimal environmental conditions. From 
i.,c first manned Mercury-Redstone flight, it was con- 
cluded that the performance data were essentially in 
keeping with the previous experience with manned 
aircraft flying zero-g trajectories. That is, the 
pilot was able to operate the space vehicle and per- 
form other flight functions while exposed to the un- 
usual environmental conditions of space, including 
a 5-minute period of weightlessness, without a de- 
tectable reduction in performance efficiency. As in 
the MR-3 flight, the astronaut's communications to 
the ground provide one source of data, while the 
telemetered records of vehicle attitude under manual 
control provide a second source, and a third source is 
the narrative description of the activities and events 
given by the pilot during the postflight debriefing. 
Xot available for this report are the onboard pic- 
tures of the astronaut, since the film was lost with 
the spacecraft. This paper attempts to evaluate the 
performance of the pilot on the MR-4 mission, to 
compare the observations made by Astronaut Shep- 
ard and Astronaut Grissom of the earth and sky, 
as seen from space, and to compare their evaluations 

he Mercury training devices. 

The Astronaut's Flight Activities Plan 

Three major differences between the MR^l and 
MR-3 flights which are of significance to the astro- 
naut's activities can be noted. First, spacecraft no. 
11 (MR-4) differed from spacecraft no. 7 (MR-3) 
in that spacecraft no. 11 had available the center- 
line window which permits a view directly in front 
of the spacecraft. Through this window, the astro- 
naut is able to see 33° in a vertical direction and 
approximately 30° horizontally. With the space- 
craft in the orbit attitude, which is —34° with the 
small end down, two-thirds of the window is filled 
with the earth's surface and the upper one-third 
views space above the horizon. The size and loca- 
tion of this window provided an opportunity for 
better examination of the earth's surface and ho- 
rizon than was possible through the 10-inch-diam- 
eter porthole available to Astronaut Shepard. The 
second variation from the MR-3 flight was in the 
checkout of the various reaction-control systems 
(RCS). During the MR-3 flight, Astronaut Shep- 
ard made use of the manual proportional and the 
fly-by-wire control systems, whereas during the 
MR^ flight, Astronaut Grissom made use of the 
manual proportional system and the rate command 

The third variation between the MR-3 and MR-4 
flights was a slight reduction in the number of flight 
activities following the retrofire period on the MR^i 
flight. The flight programs for Astronaut Shepard 
and Astronaut Grissom are compared in figure 6-1. 
Each begins with essentially the same launch period 
during which the astronaut monitors the sequential 
events and reports the status of the onboard systems 
approximately every 30 seconds. In both flights, 
the turnaround maneuver was performed on the au- 
topilot with the astronaut monitoring the autopilot 
action. Immediately after the turnaround, both As- 
tronaut Shepard and Astronaut Grissom selected the 



MR ~ 4 |c 1 1 













6:20 «5 Ml 

A.5.C. S. 

Fit lre 6-1. Manual control 

for the MR-3 and MR-i flights. 

manual proportional control mode and attempted to 
make a series of maneuvers : one each in pitch, yaw, 
and roll using the spacecraft attitude and rate indi- 
cator as a reference. After these three basic ma- 
neuvers, the astronaut shifted to an external 
reference. During this period. Shepard used the 
periscope, whereas Grissorr. used the window. Each 
reported what could be seen through these observa- 
tion systems. In addition, Grissom made a 60° left 
yaw manuever to the south. 

Following this period on external reference, the 
retrofire maneuver started. This maneuver com- 
menced with the countdown from the ground to the 
retrosequence. From the retrosequence to the start 
of retrofire, there is a 30-second period during which 
the astronaut brings the vehicle into the proper at- 
titude for retrofiring. This is followed by a retro- 
rocket firing period of approximately 20 seconds. 
Both Astronaut Grissom and Astronaut Shepard 
controlled the spacecraft attitude during this period 

using the instrument reference and the manual pro- 
portional control system. 

Following retrofire, Astronaut Shepard attempted 
to do a series of maneuvers using the fly-by-wire 
system and the spacecraft instruments as a refer- 
ence. This series of maneuvers was omitted for 
Astronaut Grissom's flight; instead, he switched to 
the rate command system and returned to the 
window reference for further external observations. 
During this period both Astronaut Shepard and 
Astronaut Grissom made a check of the HF com- 
munications radio system. 

The next mission phase began at approximately 
T + 6 minutes 40 seconds with the astronaut pitch- 
ing up to reentry attitude. At this point, both 
Astronaut Shepard and Astronaut Grissom looked 
for stars, Shepard using the small porthole on his 
left and Grissom using the large centerline window. 
Neither astronaut was able to see any stars at this 


Following this period of observation, the reentry 
l~" "n. Astronaut Shepard used the manual pro- 
nal control mode and rate instruments to 
*ol the reentry; whereas Grissom used the rate 
command control mode and rate instruments during 
this period. Since the reentry oscillations caused 
no discomfort or concern, little control was exer- 
cised by either astronaut. 

Although Astronaut Grissom had been relieved 
of some of the attitude maneuvers that were required 
of Astronaut Shepard between the retrofire and the 
reentry period, his program was still a full one. 
These full programs resulted from the decision to 
make maximum use of the short weightless flight 
time available during the Redstone missions. 

Attitude Control 

The curves of figure 6-2 are the attitudes of pitch, 
yaw, and roll maintained by Astronaut Grissom 
throughout the flight. The shaded area in the back- 
ground indicates the envelope of attitudes main- 
tained during 10 Mercury procedures trainer runs 
the week prior to the MR— 4 flight. As described 
in paper 2 of this volume, there was a malfunction 
of the manual proportional control system. This 
malfunction resulted in Astronaut Grissom's receiv- 
ing less than the normal amount of thrust per control 
'■ ,r deflection. This anomaly in the performance 
; manual proportional control system resulted 
.ie first three maneuvers being performed some- 
what differently from those on the trainer, though 
generally still within the envelope of the trainer 
runs. The pitch and yaw maneuvers overshot the 
20° desired attitude, and the time to make each 
maneuver was somewhat increased. This longer 
maneuvering time in pitch and yaw, plus the time 
required to remove residual roll rates, prevented 

the attempt to make the roll maneuver. It is inter- 
esting to note that Astronaut Shepard on his flight 
was also pressed for time at this point and cut the 
roll maneuver short, rolling only 12° instead of 20°. 
Following these three attitude maneuvers, Astronaut 
Grissom made a left yaw maneuver of approxi- 
mately 60°, using the manual proportional control 
mode and window reference. This maneuver was 
performed approximately as it was during the 
trainer sessions. 

Both Grissom and Shepard maintained the at- 
titude of the spacecraft manually during the firing 
of the retrorockets. During the critical period of 
approximately 20 seconds in which the retrorockets 
were firing, the attitudes were held very close to the 
proper retroattitude of 0° in roll and yaw and — 34° 
in pitch. The accuracy with which Astronaut Gris- 
som held these attitudes is shown by the curves in 
figure 6-3 with the envelope of trainer runs in the 
background. The permissible attitude limits inside 
of which the retrorockets can be fired are shown as 
the extents of the ordinate scale labels. Outside of 
these limits, the retrorocket firing sequence would 
be interrupted until all the attitudes returned to 
within the permissible limits. Attitude control 
performance during this period was well within 
the limits required for a safe landing from orbit 
in the planned recovery area. The pilot stated 
during the debriefing that controlling attitude 
during the retrofire for the MR-4 flight appeared 
to be about equal in difficulty to the procedures 
trainer. For the training runs, using the fixed- 
base trainer, retrorocket-misalinement levels were 
selected which simulated misalinement torques 
equal to approximately 60 percent of the available 
reaction control system control torque. Since 
it is not possible to measure the retrorocket- 

Figure 6-2. The MR-4 flight attitudes with four trainer runs in the background. 



Figi ke 6-3. Attitude control during MR-4 retrofire period. 

misalinement torques actually encountered during 
the flight, the performance of the system and of the 
pilot cannot be evaluated iti detail. In addition, the 
pilot's assessment of the reirofire difficulty level may 
be a result of reduced effectiveness of the manual 
proportional control system, rather than large retro- 
roeket-mislinement torque levels. 

Following the retrofire period. Astronaut Gris- 
som shifted to the rate conmand control and main- 
tained the spacecraft attitude at —34° pitch and 0 C 
roll and yaw until T + 6 minutes 34 seconds, at which 
time he pitched to the proper reentry attitude. The 
attitude control during this, period is well within the 
envelope demonstrated during the fixed-base trainer 
runs. During the rentry, :he pilot made use of the 
rate command system, waich provides automatic 
rate damping to =t3 deg sec if the stick is main- 
tained in the center position. This system appeared 
to work well and no control action was required of 
the pilot to damp rates. 

In summary, the pilot was able to accomplish the 
majority of the planned attitude maneuvers, despite 

the malfunction of the conLrol system. This fact, 
together with the excellent control performance dur- 
ing the critical retrofire portion of the mission, pro- 
vides an indication that pilot's control performance 
was not degraded during the approximately 5 
minutes of weightless flight. 

Flight Voice Communications 

Ninety-four voice communications were made by 
Astronaut Grissom between lift-off and impact. 
(See appendix.) As in Astronaut Shepard's flight, 
these voice communications provide an indication 
of how well the astronaut was able to keep up with 
the mission events, how accurately he was able to 
read his cockpit instruments, and how well he was 
able to respond to novel and unusual events during 
the flight. In general, the astronaut made all of the 
normal reports during the launch and reentry at 
the times appropriate to the event. His instrument 
readings relayed to the ground showed general agree- 
ment with telemetered data. In addition to the 
standard voice reports of spacecraft events and i"- 


strument readings. Astronaut Grissom made a num- 
' c unscheduled reports of the unique events of 
,'ht. He reported and described the unique 
vie, through the centerline window and the prob- 
lem with the attitude control system. 

Pilot Observations 

The major sensory observations made by the 
pilots during the MR-3 and MR-4 flights were those 
of vision, auditory phenomena, vibration, angular 
acceleration, linear acceleration, weightlessness, and 
general orientation. 


On the MR-4 flight. Astronaut Grissom used the 
centerline window for the bulk of his external ob- 
servations, whereas Astronaut Shepard primarily 
used the periscope. The major areas of observation 
are listed as follows: 

Earth's surface.— Astronaut Grissom was ham- 
pered in his attempts to identify land areas due to 
extensive cloud coverage. He was, however, able 
to make some observations as evidenced by the fol- 
lowing quotations from the postflight debriefing 
sessions: ". . . The Cape is the best reference I 
had. ... I could pick out the Banana River and 
see the peninsula that runs on down south, and then 
vn the coast of Florida. I saw what must have 
West Palm Beach . . . and it was a dark 
brown color and quite large. I never did see Cuba. 
High cirrus blotted out everything except an area 
from about Davtona Beach back inland to Orlando 
and Lakeland to Lake Okeechobee and down to the 
tip of Florida. Beyond this the Gulf of Mexico 
was visible." 

Astronaut Shepard was less hampered by cloud 
formations during his flight. His observations 
through the periscope were reported as follows in 
the postflight debriefing sessions: '". . . The west 
coast of Florida arid the Gulf coast were clear. I 
could see Lake Okeechobee. I could see the shoals 
in the vicinity of Bimini. I could see Andros Is- 
land . . . Tampa Bay. . . . There was an abrupt 
color change? between the reefs, in the area of Bimini 
and the surrounding water/' 

Clouds. — Because of shortage of time and/or 
high cirrus clouds that obscured any underlying 
vertical cloud formations, neither Astronaut Shep- 
ard nor Astronaut Grissom was able to report cloud 
I- " hts during the MR-3 and MR-4 flights. 

Horizon. — Astronaut Grissom described the hori- 
zon as "very smooth as far as I could see ... a 
blue band above the earth, then the dark sky. It 
is very vivid when you go from the blue to the 
dark. . . . The blue band appears about a quarter 
of an inch wide." 

Astronaut Shepard viewed the horizon through 
the small 10-inch-diameter porthole. He described 
bis view as follows: ". . . There was only one haze 
layer between the cloud cover and the deep blue. . . . 
ft was a little hazy, or what looked like haze; so there 
was no real sharp definition between clouds, haze 
layer, or the horizon and sky." 

Sky. — Astronaut Grissom reported that the skv 
was very black and that the transition from blue to 
black was very rapid during the launch phase. 

Astronaut Shepard on the MR-3 flight had the 
impression that the sky was a very dark blue rather 
than black. 

Stars. — The high contrast between the cabin in- 
terior light intensity and external areas for both 
suborbital flights made it very difficult for either 
pilot to locate stars. Astronaut Shephard did not 
see any stars during his flight. Astronaut Grissom 
was not able to locate any stars during the scheduled 
external observation period of his flight; however, he 
did locate what appeared to be a star late in the 
powered phase of the flight. Subsequent investiga- 
tions indicate that he saw the planet Venus. 

Sun. — The sun never posed a great problem for 
either of the astronauts during the suborbital mis- 
sions. It entered the cabin either directly or reflected 
during both (lights. Unlike Shepard. Astronaut 
Grissom did have some minor difficulties with sun- 
light. His statements were: "The sun was coming 
in bright at 0.05g and I think I would have missed it 
if I hadn't known that it was due and coming 
up. ... I looked real close and I did see it. . . . 
It conies in pretty much as a shaft of light with every- 
thing else in the cockpit dark." 

L se of earth reference for attitude control. — Both 
astronauts expressed confidence that it would be 
possible to determine rates and attitudes by the use 
of their respective available external reference de- 
vices. Astronaut Shepard said. "Qualitatively. I 
noticed nothing that would prey-ent it [periscope] 
from being a good backup for the instruments, for 
attitude reference and for control." 

a means of reference were : "When I had zero roll 
on the instruments. I had zero roll out the window. 
When I was looking at the Cape, then I had a good 


reach' yaw reference and then it [yaw rate | was quite 
apparent, and I could font ol on that basis." 

Other visual phenomenc— Neither pilot was able 
to observe the launch vehicle at any time during the 
flights. At tower separation, the periscope has not 
as vet extended so Shepard was not able to observe 
the tower jettisoning. However, the centerline win- 
dow provided Grissom with a direct view of this op- 
eration. His comment is as follows: "I didn't see 
an> dame, but I could see t go and I could see it for 
a long time after it went. I could see the little tail- 
off and it occurred to me that it went slightly off 
to my right. " 

Both pilots were able to observe through the peri- 
scope some portions of tht retropackage after it had 
been jettisoned. Astronaut Grissom's comment was : 
■'Right after retrojettison. I saw" something floating 
around. It actually looked like a retromotor at one 
time, and these floated by a couple of times." 

Astronaut Shepard's conment was: "I heard the 
noise and saw a little bit o:' the debris. 1 saw one of 
the retropack's retaining straps. 

During the reentry phase. Astronaut Grissom re- 
ported observing what he describes as shock waves. 
His report was: "I'm fairly certain it was shock 
waves off the shield of th 3 capsule. It looked like 
smoke or contrail really, but I'm pretty certain it 

Drogue parachute deployment was observed by 
both pilots. Shepard observed this event through the 
periscope and Grissom through the centerline 
window. Astronaut Shspard reported: "The 
drogue | parachute ] came out at the intended alti- 
tude and was clearly visible through the periscope." 

Astronaut Grissom observed: "The drogue 
[ parachute ] came right out. I could see the canister 
go right on out and the drogue deploy." 

Main parachute deployment was obvious to both 
pilots. Astronaut Grissom was afforded the best 
view of the parachute through the centerline window. 
Astronaut Grissom reported: "1 could see the com- 
plete chute when it was in the reefed condition and 
after it opened I could ~ee. out the window. 75 
percent of the chute." 

Astronaut Shepard's comment was: "Then at 
10.1)00 feet, of course, the antenna canister went off. 
and you could see it come < ff and pull the main chute 
with it and then go off in the distance. You could see 
the chute in the reefed condition. Then it dereefed." 
When asked. "Did you see the chute at full infla- 
tion?" he replied. 'Yes. I \ou\d say probably three- 
fifths of the chute area : over half, anyway." 

Astronaut Grissom observed the reserve parachute 
canister in the water through the periscope af' '* 
had jettisoned. 

Astronaut Grissom was not able to locate a,._ .1 
the recovery ships or search aircraft. Shepard was 
able to see the search aircraft in the recovery area. 
He reported during the debriefing. "I didn't see anv 
airplanes out the scope until after I had hit. but I 
saw the choppers through the "scope after impact." 

Auditory Phenomena 

The noise encountered by both pilots did not at 
any time reach a disturbing level. The major 
mechanical functions of the spacecraft were audible 
to both astronauts. Their reports of the various 
functions are as follows: 

Shepard observed: "Sounds of the booster 
[launch vehicle |. the pvros [pyrotechnics] firing, 
the escape tower jettisoning, and the retros tiring 
could he heard. All these sounds were new: 
although none of them was real) loud enough to he 
upsetting, they were definitely noticeable. I remem- 
ber thinking 1 did not hear the noise of the manual 
jets firing. I was aware of the posigrade firing and 
of just one general noise pulse." 

Grissom reported: "At no time did ue ha\e am 
annoying sound level, ^ou can hear the escape 
rocket fire, the posigrades. and \ on can hear O.e 
retrorockets fire and feel them. ^ ou can he; 
pitch and } aw jets fire, and that's about it." 

Both astronauts reported that they heard the 
retrorocket package jettison and heard the firing of 
the drogue-parachute mortar. However, only Shep- 
ard recalled hearing the antenna mortar firing. 

The vibrations encountered b\ Astronaut Grissom 
during the MR-4 flight were less than those ex- 
perienced by Astronaut Shepard on the MR- 3 flight. 
This was primarily a result of ill an improved 
fairing between the spacecraft and the launch vehicle 
and (2 1 added sound attenuating material in the 
couch. Vibration was experienced only during the 
launch phase of both flights. The astronauts' reports 
of the vibrations encountered and their effects are 
as follows. Shepard's comments vvere: "'From the 
period of about 45 to 50 seconds after lift-off and 
through about a minute and a half there was some 
vibration. I could feel vibrations building up. and 
the sound level came up a little bit until at one 
point. I'm not sure whether it was at max q | maxi- 
mum dynamic pressure] or not. there w-as eno- 1_ 


vibration in the capsule | spacecraft] thai there wa? a 
/'"" f iizzv appearance of the instrument needles. 

after we got through max q, everything 
smoothed out." The degradation of vision asso- 
ciated with this vibration was not serious. 

Grissom observed: ''I called out vibrations as soon 
as thev started and they never did get very bad at 
all. 1 was able to see the instrument panel and see 
the instruments clearly all the time and to transmit 
quite clearly." 

Angular Acceleration 

Astronaut Grissom reported that he was able to 
discern angular accelerations during spacecraft turn- 
around and retrofire. He did not think that he could 
feel the accelerations produced in controlling the 

Astronaut Shepard had much the same experience 
on the MR-3 flight. He was also able to feel the 
angular accelerations during periods when there 
were high torques acting on the spacecraft. 

Linear Accelerations 

Both pilots were aware of the linear accelerations 
connected w ith the main functions of the spacecraft, 
such as posigrade firing at spacecraft separation, 
retrorocket firing, reentry, drogue parachute deploy- 
s'—I. main parachute deployment, and impact. In 
m. Astronaut Grissom was able to identify the 
anient of the landing bag. He stated, "T could 
feel it [the landing-bag deployment!, but it was just 
a slight jar as the thing dropped down.' 1 

Astronaut Shepard stated that the landing-bag 
shock was so slight that he did not notice it. 


Both pilots experienced approximately the same 
-ensations during the weightless phase of the flight. 
The\ both had to make a special effort to notice the 
weightless condition. Astronaut Shepard made these 
observations concerning his flight: T said to myself. 
•Well. OK. you've been weightless for a minute or 
two and somebody is going to ask you what it feels 
like.' ... In other words. I wasn't disturbed at all 
by the fact that I was weightless. I noticed a little 
bit of dust flying around, and there was one washer 
over im left eye. . . . I w as not uncomfortable and 
1 didn't feel like my performance was degraded in 
anv nav, No problems at all." 

Astronaut Grissom's primary cue to the weight- 
less condition was also a visual one. as is indicated 

by his comments during the debriefing: ". . . At 
zero-g. everything is floating around. 1 could see 
washers and trash floating around. I had no other 
feeling of zero-g: in fact. I felt just about like I 
did at Ig on my back or sitting up.'' 

General Orientation 

Neither pilot experienced any unexpected disori- 
entation. Astronaut Shepard, in fact, experienced 
no disorientation at any time as is indicated by his 
statements during the debriefing. 

Astronaut Grissom. on the other hand, experi- 
enced a slight pitching forward sensation at launch- 
vehicle cutoff. His comment was: "". . . Right at 
BECO [booster-engine or launch-vehicle cutoff] 
when the tower went. I got a little tumbling sensa- 
tion. I can't recall which way it was that I felt I 
tumbled, but I did get the same sort of feeling that 
we had on the centrifuge. There was a definite 
second of disorientation there. I knew what it was. 
so it didn't bother me.'' Most of the astronauts have 
experienced this sensation during this period on 
dynamic centrifuge simulations. Grissom further 
commented: 'Trior to retrofire, I really felt that 
I was moving; I was going backwards. . . . When 
the retros fired. I had the impression I was very 
definitely going the other way .'' 

Training Program Evaluation 

The Mercury astronaut training program was de- 
scribed by Astronaut Slayton in the report on the 
Mercury-Redstone flight 3 i ref. 1). As a result of 
the two suborbital flights, a preliminary evaluation 
of some portions of the training program are pos- 
sible. The pilots' comments on some of the more 
important phases of training are given in this section. 

Astronaut Shepard reported that he felt suffi- 
ciently trained for the mission. He felt that the 
training produced a ". . . feeling of self-confidence 
as well as the phy sical skills necessary to control the 
vehicle." He did not believe that any area? of train- 
ing had been neglected. He reported, . . that 
as a result of the training program, at no time during 
the flight did 1 run into anything unexpected."' 
With regard to items in the training program which 
might be omitted, Astronaut Shepard reported. "All 
the training devices and phases we experienced were 
valuable.'' However, since he felt that the physio- 


logical symptoms associated with weightlessness and 
other space flight enviror mental conditions were not 
going to be a problem, he believed the time devoted 
to weightless flights and disorientation devices could 
he reduced. 

Astronaut Grissom stated after the flight that he 
felt least well prepared in the recovery portion of 
the mission. He also felt that additional practice 
on the air-lubricated free-attitude trainer during the 
last 2 weeks prior to the mission would have been 
desirable. This simulate r is at NASA-Langley Air 
Force Base. Va.. and not available to the astronaut 
who must remain close to the launch site just prior 
to the flight. Astronaut Grissom also felt he should 
have had more time at the planetarium and for map 
stud\. Like Astronaut Shepard, he did not feel any 
of the training phases were unnecessary, but that 
the time on some trainers could be reduced. 

Weightier Flying 

Astronaut Shepard reported that. '\ . . The weight- 
less flving is valuable as a confidence-building ma- 
neuver." Astronaut Grissom agreed that the train- 
ing was valuable and that he would not want to be 
without it. Both reported that the flights in the F- 
100 airplanes in which ihey experienced 1 minute 
of weightlessness, while strapped in the seat, were 
most similar to their Kedstone-Mercury flight ex- 
periences. Shepard felt that the amount of weight- 
less flying could have been reduced. 

Fixed-Base Procedures Training 

Both pilots felt this was a very valuable trainer, 
particularly when tied into the Mercury Control 
Center simulations. Ast onaut Shepard made less 
use of the procedures trsiner than he might other- 
wise have because of the difference in the panel 
arrangement between the rainer and the early model 
of the spacecraft which he flew. Shepard felt that 
the computer attitude simulation provided an accu- 
rate reproduction of the flight dynamics. Grissom 
w as not able to make a good evaluation of this por- 
tion of the simulation due to the malfunction of 
the control system on his fight. 

Shepard stressed the importance of accurate tim- 
ing of events in the procedures trainer, noting that 
a small time inaccuracy had momentarily disturbed 
him during the flight. Grissom suggested that where 
possible, sound cues associated with mission events 
should be added to the simulation. 

Air-Lubricated Free-Altitude Trainer 

Both pilots felt that the air-lubricated f 
tude I ALFA 'l trainer, a moving-base trainei i 
provides angular-acceleration cues as well as a sim- 
ulation of both the window' and periscope views of 
the earth, was very good for developing skill in the 
attitude control task. It was more valuable to Gris- 
som since the spacecraft he flew had the centerline 
window. The angular response of the ALFA trainer 
appeared to be accurate to Shepard and he felt that 
this trainer was a necessary addition to the fixed- 
base training. As already noted. Astronaut Gris- 
som fell that more practice in the ALFA trainer 
with the pilot using the window reference would 
have been desirable. He felt that the horizon sim- 
ulation which, at present, is only an illuminated 
band should be improved. Both pilots reported 
that the simulated periscope view employing a pro- 
jected earth map was very valuable. 


Koth pilots felt that the centrifuge provided val- 
uable training for launch and reentry periods. 
Shepard reported that simulated accelerations of 
the centrifuge during retrofiring were far more 
jerky and upsetting than those occurring during the 
flight. ". . . which were very smooth. " Grissom 
agreed that the flight accelerations were smc 
he felt that the centrifuge simulations were 
difficult than the flight. The centrifuge had pre- 
pared him for a slight momentary vertigo sensation 
which he experienced just after cutoff of the launch- 
vehicle engine. 

Participation in Spacecraft Checkout Activities at the 
Launch Site 

Both pilots felt that this portion of their prepara- 
tion was particularly essential. During this period, 
they were able to familiarize themselves with the 
unique features of the actual spacecraft they were to 
fly. Grissom summed up the value of this training 
as follows: "It is good to get into the flight capsule 
[spacecraft] a number of times: then on launch dav. 
you have no feeling of sitting on top of a booster 
[launch vehicle] ready for launch. You feel as if 
you were back in the checkout hangar — this is home, 
the surroundings are familiar, you are at ease. You 
cannot achieve this feeling of familiarity in the pro- 
cedures trainer because there are inevitably main 
small differences between the simulator and the 
capsule [spacecraft]."' 



Air-Ground Communications for MR— 4 

The following table gives a verbatim transcrip- 
tion of the communications between the spacecraft 
and the "round during the Ml! i flight. The call 
signs listed in the second column identify different 
elements of the operation. The spacecraft is iden- 
tified as "Rell 7" for Liberty Bell 7. The astronaut 
communicator in the Blockhouse is identified as 
"Stonv. '"(Jap Com ' is the astronaut communi- 
cator in the Mercury Control Center. "Chase" is an 

astronaut in an F-106 airplane. "ATS" stands for 
the '"Atlantic Ocean Ship." a Mercury range station 
aboard a ship which had been moved in close to 
the landing area for this flight. "Hunt Club" is the 
designation given to the recovery helicopters. 
"Card File" is the designation of a radio-relay air- 
plane which relayed the spacecraft communications 
to the Mercury Control Center. 

1 if t -off. 

Ah, Roger. This is Liberty Hell 7. 
I, oud and clear, Jose, don't cry too i 

0:20 L Loud and clear. 

0:21.5 1.5 Roger. 

0:28 8. 5 OK. The fuel is go; about Tj g's; cabin pressure is just comin; 

the peg: the Os is go; we have 26 amps. 

0:36.5 2.1 Roger. Pitch [attitude] 88 [degrees], the trajectory is good. 

0:39 2 Roger, looks good here. 

0:54 6. 5 OK, there. We're starting to pick up a little bit of the noise 

vibration: not bad, though, at all. 50 sees., more vibration. 

1:01.5 6.5 OK. The fuel is go; 1 1 g"s; cabin is S [psi]: the 0, is go; 27 amps. 

1 :08.5 0. 5 \nd [Best of communication not received.] 

1:09 1 Pitch is | Rest of communication not received.] 

1:10 0. 5 l[gi, 5!g) [Rest of communication not received.! 

1:11 2 Pitch [attitude] is 77 (degrees]; trajectory is go. 

1:13 9.5 Roger. Cabin pressure is still about 6 [psi] and dropping sligr 

Looks like she's going to hold about 5.5 [psi]. 

1:23 0.5 El. |Resl < 

1 :23.5 0. 5 Cabin [Rest of comm. 

1:24 1.5 Believe me, O, is go. 

1:26 3 Cabin pressure holdin 

1:29 1.5 Roger, roger. 

1:31 15.5 This is Liberty Bell 7. 

We are go. 

1:46.5 3 Roger. Pilch |atlitude] is 62 [degreesl: trajectory i: 

tes and we got 4 g's; fuel is go: ah, feel the'hand 
ist a hair there: cabin pressure is holding, Os is go; 


Trans - 











Comm unication 

Cap Com 


1. 5 

Roger, we have go here. 

L' 1 

Bell 7 


0. 05 


Stand by for cutoff. 


Bell 7 



There went the tower. 

Chase 1 


1. 5 

Roger, there went the tower, affirmative Chase. 


Bell 7 



Roger' ' qUll>S ° ff ' 


0. 5 


Bell 7 


9. 5 

There went posi»rades capsule ha* separated We are at zero * and 

tnriiiii- around ind (he sun is recall brixht ° 

Cap Com 

,, 42 5 

4 5 

Ro er e a ) e > ca i ulc e aration li htj is reen' turnaround ha~ 

started^anual hTndle ^J^™ 10 " ' g ls £ reen ' "«iaroun >a» 


Bell 7 


13 5 

Oh boy' Manual handle is out- the sky is -very black- the capsule is 

coming around into orbit attitude; the roll is a little bit slow. 

Cap Com 


0. 5 


Bell 7 


8. 0 

Shaven' t seen a booster anyplace OK rate command is coming on 

I'm in orbit attitude, I'm pitching up. OK, 40 [Rest of communi- 

cation not received.] Wait, I've lost some roll here someplace. 

Cap Coin 


3. 5 

Roger, rate command is coming on. You're trying manual pitch. 


Bell 7 



OK, I got roll back. OK, I'm at 24 [degrees] in pitch. 

Cap Com 



Roger, your IP [impact point] is right on, Gus, right on. 


Bell 7 



OK. I'm having a little trouble with rate, ah, with the manual con- 

Cap Com 


0. 5 



Bell 7 



If I can get her stabilized here all axes are uorkiit" all ri»ht 

Cap Com 



Roger. Understand manual control is good. 

Bel'! " 

OK "'m ^awin ""^ ^ ^""^ """^ ^ 



1 4 

, m i jawing. 

Ca > Com 

3 4" 5 

1 5 


Bell " ° m 

3-50 ° 

1 " 

Lef^ el ah 


Bell 7 

3-51 5 


OK, coming back in yaw. I'm a little bit lale there. 

3-57 5 



BeU 7 



Lofof stuff— thfr^sV^of^tuff^oat^n^ around up here 


Bell 7 



[maneuver] because I'm a little bit late and I'm going to try this 

haven't seen any land anyplace yet. 

Cap Com 




Bell 7 


5. 5 

I'm trying the yaw maneuver and I'm on the window. It's such a 

that'way 1 '' ^ W ' n(l0W J ° U J ' U8t ' 1)111 '""^ 0llt 

Cap Com 



I understand. 


Bell 7 


You su, ah, really. There I see the coast, I see. 

Cap Com 


1 5 

4 + 30 [elapsed time since launch] Gus. 

( a ) 


4. 5 

I^an^seethe coasTbu^ can^^ ^ " In ^ 0 "' ^ 


Bell 7 


Cap Com 


Ro er" 14-30 [el t jsi'd time -inee] Gus 


Bell 7 



OK let me et back here to retro attitude retro se uence has started 



Ro^'er retro sequence has started Go to' retro attitude 


Bell 7 



Right, we'll see if I'm in bad, not in very good shape here. 

Cap Com 

3. 5 

Got 15 seconds, plenty of time, I'll give you a mark at 5:10 [elapsed 


Bell 7 



OK, retro attitude [light] is still green. 

Cap Com 



Retros on my mark, 3, 2, 1, mark. 


He's in limits. [Falls in the middle of last Cap Com communication.] 

1 Communicator unidentified. 




Bell / 

5: .3 

OK there's 1 firin°- there's 1 firinc 

C 1 ) 

o:12 ^ 

Retro 1 [Cuts out Bell 7 ] 

Cap Corn 


i i 

Bell 7 


4'here's 2 firing niee little boost. There went 3. 

Cap Com 

o:21 ^ 

Roger, 3, all retros are fired. 



Roger, roger. 


Bell 7 

7' ° 

OK, yeh, they re fired out right there. 

Cap Com 


t r 

Re^o'etl^on^ is armed <minv to rate com- 


Hell t 

etrojetlison is arme , retrojetti»on is armet , going o ra e com 


Bell 7 

Cap Corn 



Rn«er m L^'der-TaiHl'maniial fuel handle is in 


5 41 

Manual fuel handle is in, mark, ^oing to HF. 

Cap Com 



Roger, HF. 


6. S 

read [Bell] 7? 





. . . here, do you read me, do you read me on HF? . . . Going 

back to U [LIIF] . . . [received by ATS ship]. Boy is that . . . 

Retro, I'm back on UHF and, ah, and the jett — the retros have 

jettisoned. Now I can see the Cape and, oh bo>, that s some sight. 

Cap Com 


6 . 

T1 a,1 p SCe ( ! 0 ° mUC jjp j ••> 3 4 5 Hov do vou read [Bell] 

Bell < 


Ro ,r er I am on UHF hi ff h, do you read me? 

Cap Com 


4. r, 

Roger, reading you loud and dear I HF high, can jou confirm retro 

jettison. ■„„•„- ■ 


Bell i 


3. o 

OK, periscope is retracting, going to reentry aUitu e. 

Cap Com 


4. o 

Roger.^ Retros ^ ave jettisonet , scope las retractec , >ou re going to 

R 11 7 


Cap Corn 


Ro'er ^rm^rcerrrv^anltude' 01 ^ 01 P °" U ' °" 

"•00 r 



e ' 

-■05 ' 

0 S 

^oger. m in reen ry a i uf e. 

o - 

Ro"-er how does it look out the window now' 


Bel / 

--ao ' 
/: .3 


ih^lhVsun i^comin" in "and -o^aH I " a" see really is just ah just 

darkness, the skv is very blank. 

Cap Com 

_ . 

^nf'-^f 0 " ^m™™™ mi'feel u \ there' 

Cap Cora 



Bell ( 

^:30 ^ 

3. o 

, e i torn ap orn ow < o > ou ee | 1 ^ e nt j 
eC X< nn-"J 10 ]o"h° ll' erccnl! ' manua Is [percen 

Cap Coiti 


oger, . og in ( 5 econ( s . 


Hell 7 



Bell 7 



OK, everything is very good, ah. 

Bell 7 


2. 3 

I got 0.05g [light] and roll rate has started. 

Cap Com 

;:d7 ^ 


^° ger • • nk ' n 

'" ,0 

Bell 7 


Cot a pile rate in ere, , g s are starting to ui i . 

Cap Com 


oger, rea nig vou ou ant c ear. 

Bell 7 



Bell ^ 



There's about 10[g|; the handle is out from under it; here I got a little 

pitch rate coming back down through 7[gl- 

Cap Com 



Roger, still sound good. 


Bell 7 



OK, the altimeter is active at 65 [thousand feet;. There's 60 [thou- 

Cap Com 



Roger, 65,000. 

Hell 7 


OK, I'm getting some contrails, evidently shock wave, 50,000 feet; 

I'm feeling good. I'm very good, everything is fine. 

Cap Com 


Roger, 50,000. 

municator unidentified. 










' """ 



Bell 7 


1. 5 

45,000, do you still read? 

Cap Com 


2. 5 

Affirmative. Still reading you. You sound good. 


Hell 7 



OK, 40,000 feet, do you read? 


Bell 7 



35,000 feet, if you read me. 


Bell 7 



30,000 feet, everything is good, everything is good. 

Cap Com 



Bell 7, this is Cap Com. Hon .... [Rest of communication not 


Cape, do you read? 


Bell 7 



25,000 feet. 


Bell 7 


2. 5 

Approaching drogue chute attitude. 


Bell 7 



There's the drogue chute. The periscope has extended. 

Cap Com 



This is . . . we have a green drogue [light] here, 7 how do vou road? 


Bell 7 


13. 5 

OK, we're coming down to 15,00(1 feet, if anyone reads. W e re on 

emergency flow rate, can see out the periscope OK. The drogue 

chute is good. 

Cap Com 

Roger, understand drogue is good, the periscope is out. 


Bell 7 



There's 13,000 feet. 

Cap Com 



Bell 7 



There goes the main chute: it's reefed; main chute is good; main chute 

is good; rate of descent coming down, coming down to — there's 40 

feet per second, 30 feel per, 32 feet per second on the main chute, 

and the landing hag is out green. 


Ah, it's better than it was, Chuck. 


Bell 7 



Hello, does anybody read Liberty Bell, main chute is good, landing 

bag [light] is on green. 

Cap Com 

And the landing bag [light] is on green. 


Liberty Bell 7, Liberty Bell 7, this is Atlantic Ship Cap Com. Read 

you loud and clear. Our telemetry confirms your events. Over. 


Bell 7 

Ah, roger, is anyone reading Liberty Bell 7? Over. 

Card File 23 

Roger, Liberty Bell 7, reading you loud and clear. This is C 

23. Over. 


Bell 7 



Atlantic Ship Cap Com, this is Liberty Bell 7. how do you reau llie ? 



Read you loud and clear, loud and clear. Over. Liberty I5el! 7, 

Liberty Bell 7, this is Atlantic Ship Cap Com. How do you read me? 


Bell 7 



Atlantic Ship Cap Com, this is Liberty Bell 7, 1 read you loud and 

clear. How, me? Over. 


Roger, Bell 7, read you loud and clear, your status looks good, vour 

systems look good, we confirm your events. Over. 


Bell 7 



Ah, roger, and confirm the fuel has dumped. Over. 


Roger, confirm again, confirm again, has vour auto fuel dumped? 



Bell 7 


2. 5 

Auto fuel and manual fuel has dumped. 


Roger, roger. 


Bell 7 



And I'm in the process of putting the pins back in the door at this time. 


Bell 7 



OK, I'm passing down through 6,000 feet, everything is good, ah. 


Bell 7 



I'm going to open my face plate. 


Bell 7 



Hello, I can't get one; 1 can't get one door pin back in. I've tried 

and tried and I can't get it back in. And I'm coming, ATS, I'm 

passing through 5,000 feet and I don't think I have one of the door 

pins in 


Roger, Bell 7, roger. 


Bell 7 



Do you have any word from the recovery troops? 

Card File 23 

Liberty Bell 7, this is Card File 23; we are heading directly toward 

1 Communicator unidentified. 


Bell 7 13:18 4 ATS, this is Cap— this is Liberty Bell 7. Do you have any word 

from l he recovery troops? 

ATS Necimo R.U " m e ati\. Dn mhIih, in v t ra.T3-[in — i >n lo M( ( 

| Mercury Control Center ? Over. 
Bell 7 13:33 13 Ah. roger. von might make a note that there is one small hole in my 

chute. It looks like it's about 6 inches hv n inches— it's a sort of 

ATS Mi, roger, roger. 

Bell 7 13:49 45 I'm passing ihroueh 3,000 led, and all the (uses arc in llighl condi- 

tions: ASCS is normal, tuilo: we're on rale command: uvros are 
normal: auto rctrojel I ison is armed; sipdbs are armed als<,. hour 
fuel handles are in: decompress and reeompress are in; retro delay is 
normal: retrolieat is off. cabin lights arc both, TVI [ielemeler| is on. 
Rescue aids is auto: landing hair is auto; retract scope is auto; 

down llirousli some clouds lo 2.000 feet. A I S. I'm at 2.000 feet: 

ATS Honer. Hell 7, what is vour rate of descent afraiu? Over. 

Bell 7 14:39 5 I I., r He < i de- e„l % i, n h, n»,f n •« ind 30 f. « t p. r . ml 

ATS All. rofier. roger. and ouee again verify vour fuel lias dumped. Over, 

(i) Seven ahead at hearing 020. Over. 

Bell 7 14:54 33 OK. My max g was about 10.2; altimeter is 1,000 [feet]; cabin 

pressure is coming toward 15 [pai], 
(') We'll make up. 

Hell 7 Temperature is 90 [°F]. 

( l ) We'll make up an eye rep. 

Bell 7 Coolant quantity is 30 [percent]; temperature is 68 [°F]: pressure is 

14 [psij; main 0 2 is 60 [percent]; norma] is. main is 60 [percent]; 
emergency is 100 [percent]: suit fan is normal; cabin fan is normal. 
We have 21 amps, and I'm getting ready for impact here. 

Bell 7 Can see the water coming right on up. 

ATS Liberty Bell 7, Liberty Bell 7, this is Atlantic Cap Com, do you read 

me?' Over. 

Bell 7 3 OK, does anyone read Liberty Bell 7? Over. 

Hunt Club 1 Liberty Bell 7, Hunt Club 1 is now 2 miles southwest you. 

Card File 9 Liberty Bell 7 this 9 Card File. We have your entry into the water. 

Will be over you in just about 30 seconds. 
Bell 7 16:35 2 Roger, my condition is good: OK the capsule is floating, slowly coming 

vertical, have actuated the rescue aids. The reserve chute has 

jettisoned, in fact 1 can see it in the water, and the whip antenna 

should be up. 

(') Hunt Club, did you copy? 

(i) OK, Hunt Club,' this is . . . Don't forget the antenna. 

Hunt Club 1 This is Hunt Club, say again. 

Bell 7 18:07 4 Hunt Club, this is Liberty Bell 7. My antenna should be up. 

Hunt Club 1 This is Hunt Club 1 . . . your antenna is erected. 

Bell 7 18:16 1 Ah, roger. 

Bell 7 18:23 3 OK, give me how much longer it'll be before you gel here. 

Hunt Club 1 This is Hunt Club 1, we are in orbit now at this time, around the 

Bell 7 18:32.5 8.5 Roger, give me about another 5 minutes here, lo mark these switch 

positions here, before I give you a call to come in and hook on. 
Are you ready to come in and hook on anytime? 

Hunt Club 1 Hunt Club 1, roger we are ready anytime you are. 

municator unidentified. 


posilinns. I hen 1 11 be rea. 

11*-% I hint Clubs, Car.) Kile 
hack ih as m,u lilt o 

Ah. licll 7 this is Until Clul, I. 
Co. «o ahead Hum Clul, I. side capsule. Will «<■ l»- inllrlVrinfr hill, any TM 1 1.' U- r n<- 1 r > ] 
if »e come d.ns.i and lake a look a I. it.' 
Negative, not al all. I ill |<M 1:01.1;? In | the re-l of this stuff on tape 

Libert v Hell 7. Cap Com at the Cap.' .... a I .-si raiml. (H,-r. 
Liberty bell 7. Cape Cap Com on a test count. Over. 
•Vnv lT.iiil Club, this is <) Canl Kile. 
Slaliou eallm-lTmit Club, sav aiiain. 

lhi-,-\i.Kr( u.ldl. tb.r. „ . Ime in the » aler. all. j us l 

alio, it 101) dngmw. The \\S\ people suspect it's the dye marker 

TFunl Club I. believe he said ' 4 of a mile 

This is <l Card, is affirmant. 

OK. Muni Club. This is Liberty Hell 

This is Hum Club t. 

take mv helmet off. power down, ami I hen hlow the hatch. 
1- rose., and when vo„ hlr.« I lie hatch, the collar «ill already be d. 

<)4 Hell 7 26:09 

No further communications were r 
of the side hatch. 

1. .Si.ayton, Donald K.: Pilot Training and Pre flight Preparation. Proe. Conf. on Results of the First U.S. Manned 
Suborbital Space Flight, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sri., June 6. 1961, pp. 53-60. 



Bv Virgil I. Gkissum. Astronaut, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center 


The second Mercury manned flight was made on 
Jul\ 21. l'Jul. The flight plan provided a ballistic 
I raj- •:, i n having a maximum altitude of 103 nauti- 
cal miles, a range of 263 nautical miles, and a 5- 
minute period of weightlessness. 

The following is a chronological report on the 
pilot's activities prior to. during, and after the flight. 


The preflight period is composed ot two distinct 
areas. The first is the training that has been m 
progress for the past 2 1 -j years and which is still in 
progress. The second area, arid the one that as- 

sumes the most importance as launch date ap- 
proaches, is the participation in the day-to-day 
engineering and testing that applies directly to the 
spacecraft that is to be flown. 

Over the past 2 years, a great deal of information 
has been published about the astronaut training pro- 
gram and the program has been previously described 
in reference 1. In the present paper. I intend to 
comment on only three trainers which I feel have 
been of the greatest value in preparing me for this 

The first trainer that has proven most valuable is 
the Mercury procedures trainer which is a fixed- 
based computer-operated flight simulator. There 
are two of these trainers i fig. 7-1). one at the 

Figuke 7-1. Procedure: 

NASA-Langley Air Force Base, Va., and one at 
the Mercury Control Certer. Cape Canaveral, Fla. 
These procedures traineis have been used contin- 
uously throughout the program to learn the system 
operations, to learn emergency operating techniques 
during system malfunctions, to learn control tech- 
niques, and to develop cperational procedures be- 
tween pilot and ground personnel. 

During the period preceding the launch, the 
trainers were used to finalize the flight plan and to 
gain a high degree of proficiency in flying the mis- 
sion profile (fig. 7-2). First, the systems to be 
checked specifically bv the pilot were determined. 
These were to be the manual proportional control 
system; the rate command control system; attitude 
control with instruments as a reference: attitude 
control with the earth-sky horizon as a reference; 
the UHF, HF, and emergency voice communications 
systems; and the manual retrofire override. The 
procedures trainer was then used to establish an 
orderly sequence of acconplishing these tasks. The 
pilot functions were tried and modified a great num- 
ber of times before a satisfactory sequence was 
determined. After the flight plan was established, 
it was practiced until each phase and time was 
memorized. During this phase of training, there 
was a tendency to add more tasks to the mission 
flight plan as proficiency was gained. Even though 
the MR-4 flight plan (table 7-1) contained less pilot 
functions than the MR-3 flight plan, I found that 
the view out the window, which cannot be simulated, 
distracted me from the less important tasks and 
often caused me to fall bebind the planned program. 

The only time this distraction concerned me was 
prior to retrofire; at other times, I felt that 1 % 
out the window was of greater importance tht 
of the planned menial tasks. In spite of this pleaoant 
distraction, all tasks were accomplished with the 
exception of visual control of retrofire. 

The second trainer that was of great value and one 
that I wish had been more readily available prior to 
launch was the air-lubricated free-attitude (ALFA I 
trainer at the NASA-Langley Air Force Base. Va. 
(fig. 7-3). This trainer provided the only training 
in visual control of the spacecraft. I had intended 
to use the earth-sky horizon as my primary means 
of attitude control and had spent a number of hours 
on the ALFA trainer practicing retrofire using the 
horizon as a reference. Because of the rush of 
events at Cape Canaveral during the 2 weeks prior 
to launch, I was unable to use this trainer. I felt 
this probably had some bearing on my instinctive 
switch to instruments for retrofire during the flight, 
instead of using the horizon as a reference. 

The third training device that was of great value 
was the Johnsville human centrifuge. With this de- 
vice, we learned to control the spacecraft during the 
accelerations imposed by launch and reentry and 
learned muscle control to aid blood circulation and 
respiration in the acceleration environment. The 
acceleration buildup during the flight was con? : ~ 
ably smoother than that experienced on the 
fuge and probably for this reason and for ot. .i 
psychological reasons, the g-forces were much easier 
to withstand during the flight than during the train- 
ing missions. 

* ■ — v • ™ 

Figure 7-2. Mission profile. 


Figure 7 -3. ALFA irainer. 

One other phenomenon that was experienced on 
the centrifuge proved to be of great value during 
the flight. Quite often, as the centrifuge changed 
rapidly from a high g-level to a low or 1 g level, 
a false tumbling sensation was encountered. This 
became a common and expected sensation and when 
the same thing occurred at launch vehicle cutoff, it 
was in no way disturbing. A quick glance at my 
instruments convinced me that I, indeed, was not 

The pilot's confidence comes from all of the fore- 
going training methods and from many other areas, 
but the real confidence comes from participation in 
the day-to-day engineering decisions and testing that 
occur during the prefligh: checkout at Cape Canav- 
eral. It was during this time that I learned the 
particular idiosyncrasies of the spacecraft that I 
was to fly. A great deal of time had already been 
spent in learning both normal and emergency sys- 
tem operations. But during the testing at the pre- 
flight complex and at the launching pad, I learned 
all the differences between this spacecraft and the 
simulator that had been u:;ed for training. I learned 


>ns that 


with the operation of the systems. This was the 
time that I really begar to feel at home in this 
cockpit. This training was very beneficial on launch 
day because I felt that I knew this spacecraft and 
what it would do. and having spent so much time 
in the cockpit I felt it wa:; normal to be there. 

As a group, we astrcnauts feel that after the 
spacecraft arrives at the Cape, our time is best spent 
in participating in spacecraft activities. This causes 
some conflict in training, since predicting the time 
test runs of the preflight checkouts will start or end 
is a mystic art that is enderstood by few and is 
unreliable at its best. Q jite frequently this causes 
training sessions to be canceled or delayed, but it 
should he of no great concern since most of the 
training has been accomplished prior to this time. 
The use of the trainers luring this period is pri- 
marily to keep performance at a peak and the time 
required will vary from pilot to pilot. 

At the time the spacecraft is moved from the pre- 
flight complex to the launching pad. practically all 
training stops. From this, time on, I was at the pad 
full time participating in or observing every test 
that was made on the spacecraft — launch-vehicle 
combination. Here, I became familiar with the 
launch procedure and grew to know and respect the 

launch crew. I gained confidence in their profes- 
sional approach to and execution of the pre 1 h 

The Flight 

On the day of the flight, I followed the following 

Awakened | 1:10 

Breakfast ! 1:25 

Physical examination 1:55 

Sensors attached ; 2:25 

Suited up j 2:35 

Suit pressure check j 3:05 

Entered transfer van ! 3:30 

Arrived at pad , 3:55 

Manned the spacecraft j 3:58 

Launched ' 7:20 

As can be seen, 6 hours and 10 minutes elapsed 
from the time I was awakened until launch. This 
time is approximately evenly divided between activi- 
ties prior to my reaching the pad and time I spent 
at the pad. In this case, we were planning on a 
launch at 6:00 a.m. e.s.t., but it will probably always 
be normal to expect some holds that cannot be - ! e- 
dicted. While this time element appears to 
cessive. we can find no way to reduce it belo, ^ 
minimum at the present. Efforts are still continu- 
ing to reduce the precountdow n time so that the pilot 
will not have had an almost full working day prior 
to lift-off. 

After insertion in the spacecraft, the launch 
countdown proceeded smoothly and on schedule 
until T — 45 minutes when a hold w as called to install 
a misalined bolt in the egress hatch. 

After a hold of 30 minutes, the countdown was 
resumed and proceeded to T — .10 minutes when a 
brief hold was called to turn off the pad searchlights. 
By this time, it was daylight: and the lights, which 
cause interference with launch-vehicle telemetry, 
w ere no longer needed. 

One more hold was called at T-15 minutes to 
await better cloud conditions because the long focal 
length cameras would not have been able to obtain 
proper coverage through the existing overcast. 

After holding for 41 minutes, the count was re- 
sumed and proceeded smoothly to lift-off at 7:20 


The communications and flow of information 
pr ; — to lift-off were very good. After participating 
prelaunch test and the cancellation 2 days 
p. usly. I was very familiar with the countdown 
and knew exactly what was going on at all times. 

As the Blockhouse Capsule Communicator ( Cap 
Com I called ignition, I felt the launch vehicle start 
to vihrate and could hear the engines start. Just 
seconds after this, the elapsed-time clock started and 
the Mercury Control Center Cap Com confirmed 
lift-off. At that time, 1 punched the Time Zero 
Override, started the stopwatch function on the 
spacecraft clock, and reported that the elapsed-time 
clock had started. 

The powered flight portion of the mission was 
in general very smooth. A low-order vibration 
started at approximately T + 50 seconds, but it did 
not develop above a low level and was undetectable 
after about T + 70 seconds. This vibration was in 
no wav disturbing and it did not cause interference 
in either communications or vision. The magnitude 
of the accelerations corresponds well to the launch 
simulations on the centrifuge, but the onset was 
much smoother. 

Communications throughout the powered flight 
were satisfactory. The VOX ( voice operated relay) 
was used for pilot transmissions instead of the push- 
\ button. The noise level was never high 
a at any time to key the transmitter. Each 
standard report was made on time and there was 
never any requirement for myself or the Cap Com 
to repeat any transmission. 

Vision out the window w as good at all times during 
launch. As viewed from the pad. the sky was its 
normal light blue: but as the altitude increased, the 
sky became a darker and darker blue until approxi- 
mately 2 minutes after lift-off, which corresponds 
to an altitude of approximately 100.000 feet, the 
sky rapidly changed to an absolute black. At this 
time. I saw what appeared to be one rather faint 
star in the center of the window I fig. 7-4 ) . ft was 
about equal in brightness to Polaris. Later, it was 
determined that this was the planet Venus whose 
brightness is equal to a star of magnitude of —3. 

Launch-vehicle engine cutoff was sudden and I 
could not sense any tail-off of the launch vehicle. 
1 did feel, as I described earlier, a very brief tum- 
bling sensation. The firing of the escape-tower 
clamp ring and escape rocket is quite audible and I 
could see the escape rocket motor and tower through- 

out its tail-off burning phase and for what seemed like 
quite some time after that climbing off to my right. 
Actually, I think 1 was still watching the tower at 
the time the posigrade rockets fired, which occured 
10 seconds after cutoff. The tower was still defin- 
able as a long, slender object against the black sky 

Figure 7-4. Approximate view of stars through centerline 

The posigrade firing is a very audible bang and 
a definite kick, producing a deceleration of approxi- 
mately lg. Prior to this time, the spacecraft was 
quite stable with no apparent motion, As the posi- 
grade rockets separated the spacecraft from the 
launch vehicle, the spacecraft angular motions and 
angular accelerations were quite apparent. Space- 
craft damping which was to begin immediately after 
separation was apparently satisfactory, although 
I cannot really report on the magnitude of any an- 
gular rates caused by posigrade firing. 

The spacecraft turnaround to retrofire attitude is 
quite a weird maneuver to ride through. At first. I 
thought the spacecraft might be tumbling out of con- 
trol. A quick check of the instruments indicated that 
turnaround was proceeding much as those experi- 
enced on the procedures trainer, with the expection 
of roll attitude which appeared to be very slow and 
behind the schedule that I was expecting. 

As the turnaround started, I could see a bright 
shaft of light, similar to the sun shining into a 
blackened room, start to move from my lower left up 
across my torso. Even though I knew the window 
reduces light transmissions equivalent to the earth's 
atmosphere, I was concerned that it might shine 
directly into my eyes and blind me. The light moved 
across my torso and disappeared completely. 


A quick look through the periscope after it ex- 
tended did not provide m; with any useful informa- 
tion. I was unable to see land, only clouds and the 

The view through the v.indow became quite spec- 
tacular as the horizon came into view. The sight 
was truly breathtaking. The earth was very bright, 
the sky was black, and the curvature of the earth was 
quite prominent. Between the earth and sky, there 
was a border which startad at the earth as a light 
blue and became increasingly darker with altitude. 
There was a transition reg ion betw een the dark blue 
and the black sky that is best described as a fuzzy 
gray area. This is a very narrow band, but there is 
no sharp transition from blue to black. The whole 
border appeared to be uniform in height over the 
approximately 1,000 miles of horizon that was visible 
to me. 

The earth itself was very bright. The only land- 
mark I was able to identi fy during the first portion 
of the weightlessness period was the Gulf of Mexico 
coastline between Apalachicola, Fla., and Mobile, 
Ala. (fig. 7-5). The cloud coverage was quite ex- 
tensive and the curvature of this portion of the coast 
was very difficult to distinguish. The water and land 
masses were both a hazy blue, with the land being 

Ficire 7-5. Approximate viev of earth through centerline 


somewhat darker. There was a frontal system south 
of this area that was clearly defined. 

One other section of the Florida coast ca ■> 
view during the left yaw maneuver, but it a 
small section of beach with no identifiable landmarks. 

The spacecraft automatic stabilization and control 
system ( ASCS ) had made the turnaround maneuver 
from the position on the launch vehicle to retrofire 
attitude. The pitch and yaw axes stabilized with 
only a moderate amount of overshoot as predicted, 
but the roll attitude was still being programed and 
was off by approximately 15° when I switched from 
the autopilot to the manual proportional control sys- 
tem. The switchover occurred 10 seconds later 
than planned to give the ASCS more time to stabilize 
the spacecraft. At this point, I realized I would 
have to hurry my programed pitch, yaw, and roll 
maneuvers. I tried to hurry the pitch-up maneuver ; 
I controlled the roll attitude back within limits, but 
the view out the window had distracted me, resulting 
in an overshoot in pitch. This put me behind in 
my schedule even more. I hit the planned yaw rate 
but overshot in yaw attitude again. 1 realized that 
my time for control maneuvers was up and I decided 
at this point to skip the planned roll maneuver, since 
the roll axis had been exercised during the two pre- 
vious maneuvers, and go immediately to the next 

This was the part of the flight to which I har 
looking forward. There was a full minute th, 
programed for observing the earth. My observa- 
tions during this period have already been reported 
in this paper, but the control task was quite easy 
when only the horizon was used as a reference. The 
task was somewhat complicated during this phase, 
as a result of lack of yaw reference. This lack was 
not a problem after retrofire when Cape Canaveral 
came into view. I do not believe yaw attitude will 
be a problem in orbital flight because there should 
be ample time to pick adequate checkpoints; even 
breaks in cloud formations would be sufficient. 

The retrosequence started automatically and at 
the time it started. I was slightly behind schedule. 
At this point, I was working quite hard to get into a 
good retrofire attitude so that I could fire the retro- 
rockets manually. I received the countdown to fire 
from Mercury Control Center Cap Com and fired 
the retrorockets manually. The retrorockets, like 
the escape rocket and posigrades, could be heard 
quite clearly. The thrust buildup was rapid and 
smooth. As the first retrorocket fired, I was look- 
ing out the window and could see that a definite 

yaw to the right was starting. I had planned to con- 
tr ' ' °, spacecraft attitude during retrofire by using 
I izon as a reference; but as soon as the right 

ya.. ^arted. I switched my reference to the flight in- 
struments. I had been using instruments during my 
retrofire practice for the 2 weeks prior to the launch 
in the Cape Canaveral procedures trainer since the 
activity at the Cape prevented the use of the ALFA 
trainer located at the N ASA-Langley Air Force 
Base, Va. This probably explains the instinctive 
switch to the flight instruments. 

The retrofire difficulty was about equal to the 
more severe cases that have been presented on the 

Immediately after retrofire, Cape Canaveral came 

nana and Indian Rivers were easy to distinguish and 
the white beach all along the coast was quite prom- 
inent. The colors that were the most prominent 
were the blue of the ocean, the brownish-green of 
the interior, and the white in between, which was 
obviously the beach and surf. I could see the build- 
ing area on Cape Canaveral. I do not recall being 
able to distinguish individual buildings, but it was 
obvious that it was an area where buildings and 
structures had been erected. 

Immediately after retrofire, the retrojettison 
svvitrh was placed in the armed position, and the 
mode was switched to the rate command con- 
i stem. I made a rapid check to ascertain that 
the system was working in all axes and then 1 
switched from the UHF transmitter to the HF trans- 

This one attempt to communicate on HF was un- 
successful. At approximately peak altitude, the HF 
transmitter was turned on and the UHF transmitter 
was turned off. All three receivers — UHF. HF, and 
emergency voice — were on continuously. Immedi- 
ately after I reported switching to HF, the Mercury 
Control Center started transmitting to me on HF 
only. I did not receive any transmission during this 
period. After allowing the HF transmitter approx- 
imately 10 seconds to warm up. I transmitted but 
received no acknowledgement that I was being re- 
ceived. Actually, the Atlantic Ship telemetry vessel 
located in the landing area and the Grand Bahama 
Island did receive my HF transmissions. Prior to 
the flight, both stations had been instructed not to 
transmit on the assigned frequencies unless they 
were called by the pilot. After switching back to 
the I HF transmitter. I received a call on the emer- 
gency voice that was loud and clear. UHF commu- 

nications were satisfactory throughout the flight. I 
was in continuous contact with some facility at all 
times, with the exception of a brief period on HF. 

Even though all communications equipment oper- 
ated properly, I felt that I was hurrying all trans- 
missions too much. All of the sights, sounds, and 
events were of such importance that I felt compelled 
to talk of everything at once. It was a difficult 
choice to decide what was the most important to 
report at any one time. I wanted as much as pos- 
sible recorded so that I would not have to rely on my 
memory so much for later reporting. 

As previously mentioned, the control mode was 
switched from manual proportional to rate com- 
mand immediately after retrofire. The procedures 
trainer simulation in this system seems to be 
slightly more difficult than the actual case. I found 
attitudes were easy to maintain and rates were no 
problem. The rate command system was much 
easier to fly than the manual proportional system. 
The reverse is normally true on the trainer. The 
sluggish roll system was probably complicating the 
control task during the manual proportional control 
phase of the flight, while roll accelerations appeared 
to be normal on the rate command system. 

The rate command control system was used after 
retrofire and throughout the reentry phase of the 
flight. At the zero rate command position, the stick 
was centered. This system had a deadband of ±3 
deg/sec. Our experience on the procedures trainer 
had indicated that this system was more difficult to 
fly than the manual proportional control system. 
This was not the case during this flight. Zero rates 
and flight attitudes were easy to maintain. The rec- 
ords do indicate that an excessive amount of fuel 
was expended during this period. Approximately 
15 percent of the manual fuel supply was used dur- 
ing the 2 minutes the system was operating. A major 
portion of the 2 -minute period was during the re- 
entry when thrusters were operating almost con- 
tinuously to dampen the reentry oscillations. 

The 0.05g telelight illuminated on schedule and 
shortly thereafter I reported g's starting to build. 
I checked the accelerometer and the g-level was 
something less than Ig at this time. The next time I 
reported, I was at 6g and I continued to report and 
function throughout the high-g portion of the flight. 

The spacecraft rates increased during the reentry, 
indicating that the spacecraft was oscillating in both 
vaw and pitch. I made a few control inputs at this 
time, but I could not see any effects on the rates, so 
I decided just to ride out the oscillations. The pitch 


rate needle was oscillating full scale at a rapid rate 
of ±6 deg/sec during tiis time and the yaw rate 
began oscillating full sea e slightly later than pitch. 
At no time were these oscillations noticeable inside 
the spacecraft. 

During this phase of reentry and until main para- 
chute deployment, there is a noticeable roar and a 
mild buffeting of the spacecraft. This is probably 
the noise of a blunt obje:t moving rapidly through 
the atmosphere and the buffeting is not distracting 
nor does it interfere with pilot function. 

The drogue parachute deployment is quite visible 
from inside the spacecraft and the firing of drogue 
parachute mortar is clearly audible. The opening 
shock of the drogue paraciute is mild; there is a mild 
pulsation or breathing of 1 he drogue parachute which 
can be felt inside the spacecraft. 

As the drogue parachate is released, the space- 
craft starts to drop at a greater rate. The change 
in g-field is quite notice, able. Main parachute de- 
ployment is visible out the window also. A mild 
shock is felt as the main parachute deploys in its 
reefed condition. The ccmplete parachute Is visible 
at this time. As the reefing cutters fire, the para- 
chute deploys to its fully opened condition. Again, 

(al Normal stored position. 


a mild shock is felt. About 80 percent of the para- 
chute is visible at this time and it is quite - n- 
forting sight. The spacecraft rotates and ? 
slowly under the parachute at first: the rate ^re 
mild and hardly noticeable. 

The spacecraft landing in the water was a mild 
jolt; not hard enough to cause discomfort or dis- 
orientation. The spacecraft recovery section went 
under the water and I had the feeling that I was 
on my left side and slightly head down. The window 
was covered completely with water and there was 
a disconcerting gurgling noise. A quick check 
showed no water entering the spacecraft. The space- 
craft started to slowly right itself: as soon as I was 
sure the recovery section was out of the water. I 
ejected the reserve parachute by actuating the re- 
covey aids switch. The spacecraft then righted 
itself rapidly. 

I felt that I was in good condition at this point 
and started to prepare myself for egress. I had 
previously opened the face plate and had discon- 
nected the visor seal hose while descending on the 
main parachute. The next moves in order were to 
disconnect the oxygen outlet hose at the helmet, 
unfasten the helmet from the suit, release the chest 

(b) Unrolled position. 

Neck dam. 

strap, release the lap belt and shoulder harness, re- 
le?- '-e knee straps, disconnect the biomedical sen- 
se 1 roll up the neck dam. The neck dam is 
a ru. .jcr diaphragm that is fastened on the exterior 
of the suit, below the helmet attaching ring. After 
the helmet is disconnected, the neck dam is rolled 
around the ring and up around the neck, similar 
to a turtle-neck sweater. I See fig. 7-6. ) This left 
me connected to the spacecraft at two points, the 
oxygen inlet hose which I reeded for cooling and 
the helmet communications lead. 

At this time, I turned my attention to the door. 
First, I released the restraining wires at both ends 
arid tossed them towards my feet. Then I removed 
the knife from the door and placed it in the sur- 
vival pack. The next task was to remove the cover 
and safety pin from the hatch detonator. I felt at 
this time that everything had gone nearly perfectly 
and that I would go ahead and mark the switch 
position chart as had been requested. 

After about 3 or 4 minutes, I instructed the heli- 
copter to come on in and hook onto the spacecraft 
and confirmed the egress procedures with him. I 
unhooked my oxygen inlet hose and was lying on 
the couch, waiting for the helicopter's call to blow 
the hatch. I was lying flat on my back at this time 
and I had turned my attention to the knife in the 
SU r-"'al pack, wondering if there might be some way 
I carry it out with me as a souvenir. I heard 

tl. .ch blow— the noise was a dull thud — and 
looked up to see blue sky out the hatch and water 
start to spill over the doorsill. Just a few minutes 
before, I had gone over egress procedures in my 
mind and I reacted instinctively. I lifted the helmet 
from my head and dropped it, reached for the right 
side of the instrument panel, and pulled myself 
through the hatch. 

After I was in the water and away from the space- 
craft, I noticed a line from the dyemarker can over 
my shoulder. The spacecraft was obviously sinking 
and I was concerned that I might be pulled down 
with it. I freed myself from the line and noticed 
that I was floating with my shoulders above water. 

The helicopter (fig. 7-7) was on top of the space- 
craft at this time with all three of its landing gear 
in the water. I thought the copilot was having dif- 
ficulty hooking onto the spacecraft and I swam the 
4 or 5 feet to give him some help. Actually, he had 
cut the antennae and hooked the spacecraft in record 

The helicopter pulled up and away from me with 
tb-~ -oacecraft and I saw the personal sling start 

down; then the sling was pulled back into the 
helicopter and it started to move away from me. 
At this time, I knew that a second helicopter had 
been assigned to pick me up, so I started to swim 
away from the primary helicopter. I apparently got 
caught in the rotorwash between the two helicopters 
because I could not get close to the second helicopter, 
even though I could see the copilot in the door with 
a horsecollar swinging in the water. I finally 
reached the horsecollar and by this time, I was get- 
ting quite exhausted. When I first got into the 
water, I was floating quite high up: I would say 
my armpits were just about at the water level. But 
the neck dam was not up tight and I had forgotten 
to lock the oxygen inlet port: so the air was gradu- 
ally seeping out of my suit. Probably the most air 
was going out around the neck dam, but I could see 
that I was gradually sinking lower and lower in 
the water and was having a difficult time staying 
afloat. Before the copilot finally got the horse- 
collar to me, I was going under water quite often. 
The mild swells we were having were breaking over 
my head and I was swallowing some salt water. As 
I reached the horsecollar, I slipped into it and I 
knew that I had it on backwards I fig. 7-8) ; but I 
gave the "up"' signal and held on because I knew 
that I wasn't likely to slip out of the sling. As soon 
as I got into the helicopter, my first thought was to 
get on a life preserver so that if anything happened 
to the helicopter, I wouldn't have another ordeal 
in the water. Shortly after this time, the copilot 
informed me that the spacecraft had been dropped 
as a result of an engine malfunction in the primary 


The postflight medical examination onboard the 
carrier was brief and without incident. The loss 
of the spacecraft was a great blow to me. but I felt 
that I had completed the flight and recovery with 
no ill effects. 

The postflight medical debriefing at the Grand 
Bahama Island installation was thorough and com- 
plete. The demands on me were not unreasonable. 


From the pilot's point of view the conclusions 
reached from the second U.S. manned suborbital 
flight are as follows: 

ll) The manual proportional control system 
functioned adequately on this flight. The system is 
capable of controlling the retrofire accurately and 


safely. The roll axis is underpowered and causes 
si- "ifliculty. The rate command system func- 
t erv well during this flight. All rates were 

da...,,.-d satisfactorily, and it is easy to hold and 
maintain the attitudes with the rate command s>s- 
tem. If the rate of fuel consumption that was ex- 
perienced on this flight is true in all cases, it would 
not he advisable to use the rate command system 
during ordinary orbital flight to control attitudes. 
It should he used only for retrofire and reentry. The 
autopilot functioned properly with the possible ex- 
ception of the 5 seconds of damping immediately 
after separation. This period is so brief that it was 
impossible to determine the extent of any damping. 
The turnaround maneuver in the pitch and yaw axes 
was approximately as predicted, but the roll axis was 

i2i The' pilot's best friend on the orbital flight 
is going to be the window. Out this window. 1 feel 
he will he able to ascertain accurately his position at 
all times. I ant sure he will be able to see stars on 
the dark side and possibly on the daylight side, with 

a little time to adapt the eves. The brighter stars 
and planets will certainly be visible. 

( 3 i Spacecraft rates and oscillations are very easy 
to ascertain by looking at the horizon and ground 
checkpoints. 1 feel that drift rates will be easy to 
distinguish on an orbital flight when there is time 
to concentrate on specific points outside the window. 

(4 I Sounds of pyrotechnics, control nozzles, and 
control solenoids are one of the pilot's best cues as 
to what is going on in the spacecraft and in the 
sequencing. The sounds of posigrades. retrorockets. 
and mortar firing are so prominent that these become 
the primary cues that the event has occurred. The 
spacecraft telelight panel becomes of secondary im- 
portance and merely coiifiim- that a sequence has 
happened on time. The sequence panel's main value 
is telling the pilot when an event should have oc- 
curred and has not. 

ioi Vibrations throughout the flight were of a 
low order and were not disturbing. The buffeting at 
maximum dynamic pressure and a Mach number of 
1 on launch was mild and did not interfere with 

FlCL'RE i-8. Helicopter recovering pilot i horseroHar on backwards). 

pilot function;'. Communications and vision were 
satisfactory throughout this period. The mild buf- 
feting on reentry does not interfere with any pilot 

(6 I Communications throughout the flight were 
satisfactory. Contact was maintained with some 

facility at all times. There was never any require- 
ment to repeat a transmission. 

(7i During the flight, all spacecraft sys p- 
peared to function properly. There was no l^,.* ire- 
men t to override any system. Every event occurred 
on time and as planned. 


1. Slaytox, Dos aw K.: Pilot Training and 1'refligkt Preparation. Proc. Conf. on Results of the First U.S. Manned 
Suborbital Space Fligh ■, NASA, Nat. Inst. Health, and Nat. Acad. Sri., June 6, 1961, j.p. 53-60. 

7-1— Flight Plan 

Cabin, pressure report 
1:30 Systems report 
2:00 Systems report 

J Launch-vehicle, engine cutoff 

IrVlrojeltison switch to OFF ; 
2:33 j Spacecraft separation from launch vehicle '< 
2:38 Spacecraft turnaround to flight attitude : 

.1:10 ■ Retrograde rockets fired manually 

[Transfer of (light control from manual 

command control system 
Kadio transmitter switched from I 111 
( to UK 
0:10 Rrtropackage jettison 

j Periscope retracts automatically 

1 'tude ' 
7:00 Communications switched hack lo L 11 F 

7:46 Reentry starts 

0: 1 1 i Snorkels open 

I Emergency rate oxygen flo\> 
0:13 Main parachute deployment