Spaceline - Covering the Past, Present and Future of Cape Canaveral

Contact Spaceline

Spaceline Home/Site Index

Launch Schedules

Spaceline Logo Cape Canaveral Florida

spaceline, inc.

About Spaceline

Spaceline Photo Gallery

Gift Shop





Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge


Classification: Space Launch Vehicle

Length: 95 feet, 4 inches

Diameter: 10 feet


The Mercury-Atlas was essentially an Atlas D missile adapted to carry a NASA Mercury capsule.

The engine thrusts were exactly the same as the operational Atlas D ICBM, with only the flight profile modified to carry the Mercury spacecraft into orbit.

Additional safety features were built into certain Atlas D systems to protect the astronauts.

It was a Mercury-Atlas rocket that successfully boosted the MA-6 Friendship 7 capsule with John Glenn aboard. Glenn became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth.

Copyright 2012 Spaceline, Inc.