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John Glenn and Friendship 7

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Uploaded on Mar 6, 2007

Mission Objective:

Place a man into earth orbit, observe his reactions to the space environment and safely return him to earth to a point where he could be readily found. The Mercury flight plan during the first orbit was to maintain optimum spacecraft attitude for radar tracking and communication checks.

Mission Highlights:

Mission Successful. First American in orbit. Total time weightless 4 hours 48min 27sec.

During the flight only two major problems were encountered: (1) a yaw attitude control jet apparently clogged at the end of the first orbit, forcing the astronaut to abandon the automatic control system for the manual-electrical fly-by-wire system; and (2) a faulty switch in the heat shield circuit indicated that the clamp holding the shield had been prematurely released- a signal later found to be false. During reentry, however, the retropack was not jettisoned but retained as a safety measure to hold the heat shield in place in the event it had loosened.

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