Milestones:Mercury Spacecraft MA-6

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Mercury Spacecraft MA-6



Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the Milestone Plaque Sites

38.4510109, -90.3561027, Boeing Bldg 100, St. louis, MO

Details of the physical location of the plaque


How the intended plaque site is protected/secured

The Prologue room is open to the public during the summer months and is visited by more than 5,000 non-Boeing people every year. In addition, the Prologue Room is used by The Boeing Company to explain the vast history of the company to domestic and foreign dignitaries. In addition, middle school students are given tours of the Prologue Room. They learn the mechanics of flight and they are encouraged to consider careers in math, science, and engineering. There is a visitor's parking lot next to Bldg 100 where the public may park and walk to the site of the milestone plaque. The Prologue is a secure area and Boeing provides daily security patrols of the area. The Prologue Room (site of Mercury Capsule MA-6 ) is inside the secure area of Bldg 100

Historical significance of the work

Mercury Spacecraft MA-6, with Col John Glenn as pilot, was the first United States manned orbital flight. It occurred on February 20, 1962. He named his spaceship Friendship 7. This established the United States foundation for future spaceflight, eventually resulting in the landing on the moon of humans.

Features that set this work apart from similar achievements

Col Glenn's flight was the second manned orbital spaceflight. The first was USSR Yuri Gargarin's orbital spaceflight. However, Glenn's space flight was set apart by the electrical and electronic systems invented by the MAC engineers, some being members of IRE and then subsequently IEEE. Its systems epitomize the field of interest of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society. Project Mercury's electronics included Navigation and control instruments; auto pilot; rate stabilization and control, manual proportional control system and Fly-By-Wire (FBW)manual-electrical system. The FBW manual-electrical systems proved critical to Friendship 7's mission success because a yaw attitude control jet apparently clogged at the end of the first orbit, forcing astronaut Glenn to abandon the automatic control system for the manual-electrical fly-by-wire system. (ref

Significant references


Supporting materials