Project Mercury opens a new door for humanity

Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr., pilot of the Mercury-Atlas 9 earth-orbital space mission, is assisted into his "Faith 7" Mercury Spacecraft during the prelaunch countdown. Image Credit: NASA.

In this episode of the Terranauts Guide to Leaving Earth we follow Project Mercury to its conclusion.

Having completed a “textbook” mission with Wally Schirra’s flight, it was now time to go for a full day on orbit with the flight of Mercury-Atlas 9 and Gordon Cooper. But this would be the final act of Project Mercury. The project had been a complete success, but its day was done as NASA and the world moved beyond simply wondering if a human could leave the planet – and started wondering what humans – and their inventions – would do when they were there.

The end of Project Mercury was, in a very real sense, only the end of the beginning or our story as an extra-terrestrial species.

Listen in.

About Terranauts season 2

This year on Terranauts we’re going to offer a mix of interviews with Terranauts, people who go to space all the time without leaving the planet, and we’re also planning regular instalments of the Terranauts Guide to Leaving the Planet where we explore the history of humankind’s adventures off the planet.

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About Iain Christie

Founder and CEO at SideKickSixtyFive Consulting and host of the Terranauts podcast. Iain is a seasoned business executive with deep understanding of the space business and government procurement policy. Iain worked for 22 years at Neptec including as CEO. He was a VP at the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, is a mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab and a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management.

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