Big Joe 1 - Space launch mission detailed information
Big Joe 1 1
9 SEP 1959
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Launch Complex 14
Suborbital flight with the objective of testing the Mercury spacecraft ablative heat shield. The Atlas booster section failed to jettison, leading to a lower apogee. It was nonetheless sufficient to satisfy the Mercury spacecraft team.
The Atlas LV-3B, Atlas D Mercury Launch Vehicle or Mercury-Atlas Launch Vehicle, was a human-rated expendable launch system used as part of the United States Project Mercury to send astronauts into low Earth orbit. Manufactured by American aircraft manufacturing company Convair, it was derived from the SM-65D Atlas missile, and was a member of the Atlas family of rockets.