The Missions

  • Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


Project Mercury Project taught us that man can survive in space, he can perform well in weightlessness, and he can survive reentry. At the time, there were many who questioned whether this would be the case. Mercury also taught the aircraft industry how to produce a spacecraft. It taught NASA how to build a worldwide network to monitor the flights, and send information back and forth between the control center and the remote tracking sites. It taught the military how to modify missiles to transport humans, a role that the designers had never imagined. (The word “missile” was changed to “launch vehicle,” which sounds somewhat safer). It also taught flight controllers how to support astronauts in space by being well trained in engineering and flight operations, and to build a control center for that purpose. That first NASA control center, the Mercury Control Center, supported Project Mercury from start to finish with very little in the way of revisions to its hardware systems and its operational methodology and procedures; it was well-conceived and designed for the missions being performed at that time.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried
    • 1
  1. 1.LeanderUSA

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