This Day in Space History – October 3rd, 1962 – Mercury-Atlas 8 Launched

The fifth American was launched into space on this day in history.

mercury-atlas-8

Mercury-Atlas V was the fifth mission of the early NASA manned Mercury space exploration program. It launched Walter Schirra Jr. into space on October 3rd, 1962. Courtesy: NASA

Mercury-Atlas V was the fifth mission of the early NASA manned Mercury space exploration program. It launched Walter Schirra Jr. into space on October 3rd, 1962.

Schirra Jr. was onboard the Sigma 7 spacecraft for about 9 hours and 13 minutes, orbiting the Earth six times. The mission was mostly a success, with no major technical issues, Schirra Jr. staying in good health, some weather observations made from orbit, and a successful launch and landing.

Mercury-Atlas 8 would be the penultimate flight of the first American manned space program, having launched the first Americans into space and into orbit, as well as testing long-duration flights. The Gemini program, featuring a capsule that launched two astronauts into orbit at once, would come next.

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