25.1 MB (2.1 MB compressed)
2658 x 3295 pixels
22.6 x 27.9 cm ⏐ 8.9 x 11.0 in (300dpi)
NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mercury-Atlas 3 rocket launch. The small Mercury spacecraft (black) on top of the Atlas rocket is 2 metres long and only large enough for one crew member. The Launch Escape System tower and rocket are seen above the spacecraft. This unmanned test launch lifted off at 11:15 EST on 25 April 1961 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. It was detonated about 40 seconds later, with the spacecraft recovered for examination. Project Mercury took place from 1959 to 1963, succeeding in putting the first US astronaut in space on 5 May 1961. A total of six missions were flown, with four using the 29-metre long Atlas rocket.
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