NASA HISTORY: Mercury Program Final Mission 54 Years Ago Launched From Cape Canaveral

By  //  May 22, 2017

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piloted by astronaut Gordon Cooper

ABOVE VIDEOThis NASA documentary shows the flight preparation, launch, space activities, and recovery of Mercury-Atlas 9 and its and Gordon Cooper’s preparations to pilot the spacecraft named Faith 7. Mercury-Atlas 9 was the final manned space mission of the Mercury program, being launched on May 15, 1963 from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A milestone in space exploration for NASA is its 54th anniversary of the final manned space mission of the Mercury program.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper piloted Faith 7, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 15, 1963.

Cooper’s orbit around the earth on the Faith 7 capsule surpassed multiple benchmarks of previous missions.

Cooper orbited the earth 22 times and logged more time in space than the five previous Mercury missions, combined.

NASA’s mission objectives were to evaluate the effects of a lengthier stay in space during a day and a half of weightlessness.

Cooper was the first man to sleep in space. Faith 7’s 22 orbits spanned 600,000 miles and laid the framework for the ambitious Gemini program, and ultimately, the Apollo program.

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For more information on NASA’s historic missions, visit our Space Coast History page.

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A milestone in space exploration for NASA is its 54th anniversary of the final manned space mission of the Mercury program. Astronaut Gordon Cooper piloted Faith 7, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 15, 1963. (NASA image)


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