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Project Mercury: A New Frontier


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With over 24 hours of material from Project Mercury, nothing comes anywhere close to telling the Mercury story like this 6-DVD collection. If you are interested in Project Mercury, this is the must-have set for you. Incredible material.

DISC 1

Project Mercury - An original one-hour documentary detailing the development and flight history of Project Mercury.

The Astronauts - Project Mercury - NASA film on the selection and training of the Original Seven Astonauts. Features a score by the USAF Orchestra. (27:02)

Selection Medicine - Footage from several examples of the testing done during the selection of the original seven, including Carpenter, Slayton, Grissom and Glenn during testing. (14:33)

Selection Press Conference - Announcement of the selection of the original seven astronauts, April 9, 1959. The press conference is not complete. (31:35)

Weightless Training - Footage of astronauts flying parabolas for weightlessness. Also includes early footage of volunteers investigating weightlessness. (16:59)

Centrifuge - Grissom, Cooper, Glenn, Carpenter and Schirra ride the Centrifuge at Johnsville, PA, September 1960. (7:43)

Procedures Trainer - Footage of original seven astronauts and technicians in and around the Mercury proceedures trainer. (15:46)

Floating on Air - Cooper, Slayton, Shepard, Carpenter, Schirra and Grissom take turns operating the air bearing simulator. (5:40)

Man or Monkey - Mercury Chimpanzee training at Holloman Air Force Base, NM, October, 1960. (5:56)

MA-6 Flight Loop - Audio only from the Friendship 7 flight. (Approx. 5 hours)

MA-7 Onboard Recorder - Audio only from the Aurora 7 flight. This audio is from the onboard recorder. (Approx. 5 hours)

First Into Space - Footage from the early Soviet Sputnik and Vostok program. Audio commentary by Spacecraft Films's producer Mark Gray. (16:05)

DISC 2

Project Manhigh - Footage from the USAF Manhigh Project. (5:20)

Project Excelsior - Footage from the USAF Excelsior Project. (5:28)

Suit Evaluation - Footage from evaluation of Mercury space suit options. (27:39)

Flight Worthy - Early wind tunnel model tests at Langley. (17:37)

1959 Electronics - Footage showing the state of the art in electronics, 1959. (5:22)

Couch Molding - Several variations of molding techniques. (24:44)

Escape Tower - Footage surrounding the development of the escape tower. (6:28)

Cutting Metal - Footage from construction of the spacecraft. (42:47)

MASTIF - Footage from operation of the MASTIF training device. (5:32)

Hand Controller - Early testing of the three-axis hand controller. (7:05)

RCS Testing - Footage of the Mercury hydrogen peroxide thrusters being fired. (2:05)

Australia - Footage of the tracking installation at Muchea in Australia. (11:15)

Re-entry - Simulation of reentry using scale models. (4:55)

Out the Top - Footage of the egress method through the top of the spacecraft. (13:01)

Packing Parachutes - Footage of the packing of the parachutes. Silent. (7:46)

Recovery Flotation - Early work on an Apollo-style uprighting bag system originally planned for the Mercury spacecraft. (15:11)

Recovery Testing - Drop testing of the Mercury spacecraft recovery system. (10:06)

DISC 3

Building Little Joe - Footage of Little Joe construction and assembly. (16:10)

Little Joe 1 - 8/21/1959 - Maximum dynamic pressure abort with boilerplate spacecraft. (3:58)

Little Joe 6 - 1/4/1959 - Ballistic flight; qualify launch vehicle structure; evaluate command system. Boilerplate. (22:35)

Little Joe 1A - 11/4/1959 - Maximum dynamic pressure abort, same as Little Joe 1. (8:02)

Little Joe 2 - 12/4/1959 - Rhesus Monkey aboard. High altitude abort. (8:06)

Little Joe 1B - 1/21/1960 - Rhesus Monkey aboard. Maxiumum dynamic pressure abort. Same as Little Joe 1A. Successful. (18:01)

Beach Abort - Spacecraft #1. 5/9/1960 - Off the pad abort. Successful, expended rocket motor and tower not separated as quickly as expected. (21:30)

Little Joe 5 - 11/8/1960 - Maximum dynamic pressure abort. Object not met. Spacecraft did not separate from launch vehicle. Spacecraft #3. . (2:07)

Little Joe 5A - 3/18/1961 - Maximum dynamic pressure abort. Objective not met. Escape rocket ignited early. Spacecraft #14. (2:29)

Little Joe 5B - 4/28/1961 - Maximum dynamic pressure abort. Successful. Spacecraft #14A. (5:15)

MR-1- The "tower flight," including preparation and "launch." (8:33)

MR-1A - Including footage of preparation and launch. (6:44)

MR-2 - Footage of preparation and launch of Ham the chimp, and recovery. (17:23)

MR-BD - Footage of the last unmanned Mercury Redstone, including preparation and launch. (12:01)

Atlas: The ICBM - Air Force documentary on the development of the Atlas ICBM, especially in the year 1957. (26:58)

Big Joe - Test of spacecraft integrity and aerodynamics. (14:32)

MA-1 - Includes preparation of the launch vehicle, spacecraft, and launch, and footage of the pieces remaining after explosion. (14:58)

MA-2 - Includes preparation of the spacecraft, girdle band, and launch. (12:46)

MA-3 - Includes launch preparations, launch and explosion, as range safety destroyed the vehicle 40 seconds after liftoff. (21:59)

MA-4 - Includes pad preparation, spacecraft work, launch, onboard footage, and recovery of the spacecraft. (16:26)

MA-5 - Includes preparation, launch, onboard footage, and recovery of the flight of Enos the chimpanzee. (20:39)

Mercury/Scout - Footage surrounding the unsuccessful Mercury/Scout launch test, November 1, 1961. (9:28)

DISC 4

FREEDOM 7

Redstone Booster - Work on the Redstone booster MR-7. (16:04)

MR-3 Simulation - Footage from a simulated flight of the MR-3 mission. (6:22)

Launch Day- Suitup, transfer to pad and ingress for MR-3. (30:56)

Launch - Multi-Angle launch views. Audio from air to ground transmissions. (7:17)

Mercury Control - Mercury control during the flight of Freedom 7. (13:01)

Onboard Freedom 7 - Onboard pilot observation camera and instrument panel footage synchronized in real time to the MR-3 air to ground audio. (21:25)

Recovery - Aboard the U.S.S. Lake Champlain. Includes footage from the carrier and from Grand Turk, Bahama after the flight. (14:37)

Aftermath - Footage from Alan Shepard's post-Mercury career,

LIBERTY BELL 7

Preparation - Pad work for MR-4. (9:22)

Hatch Test - Demonstration of the explosive Mercury hatch. (5:59)

Launch Day- Suitup, transfer to pad and ingress. (24:57)

Launch - Multi-angle views of the launch of Gus Grissom aboard Liberty Bell 7. (9:24)

Recovery - Footage of the recovery and loss of Liberty Bell 7, including footage of Grissom on board the U.S.S. Randolph. Audio from air to ground transmissions. (29:34)

Aftermath - Footage from Gus Grissom's future career, including his Gemini 3 mission and the Apollo 1 fire.

DISC 5

FIRST AMERICAN INTO ORBIT

109D Booster- The Atlas booster being erected at pad 14. (29:31)

Simulated Flight - John Glenn simulation prior to the MA-6 flight. (9:46)

Altitude Chamber - The Friendship 7 spacecraft undergoing altitude chamber testing. Audio from postflight program on the MA-6 flight. (13:28)

Spacecraft - Preparation on the spacecraft. (35:33)

MA-6 Scrub - Footage from the January scrub of the MA-6 flight. Silent. (12:57)

Launch Day - Preparations for and ingress into Friendship 7. (33:44)

Launch - Multi-angle view of the launch of Friendship 7. (7:57)

Mercury Control - Footage in Mercury Control during the MA-6 mission. (10:03)

Aboard Friendship 7- Onboard film from the flight. (34:41)

Recovery - Pickup by the destroyer U.S.S. Noa, Glenn being airlifted off, and activities at Grand Turk after recovery. (17:02)

Aftermath - Footage from the New York ticker-tape parade. (2:33)

AURORA 7 (MA-7)

Preparation - Including footage of the installation of retro rockets and erection of the spacecraft on the launch vehicle. (23:30)

Altitude Chamber - With footage of original MA-7 prime crew member Deke Slayton in altitude chamber with spacecraft #18, and footage with crew member Scott Carpenter. (5:14)

Launch Day - From breakfast to suitup to transfer to the pad and ingress. (16:55)

Launch - Multiple views of the launch of Scott Carpenter aboard Aurora 7. (8:14)

Mercury Control - Footage from Mercury Control during the MA-7 mission. (13:12)

Onboards - Onboard footage from MA-7. Note that the footage was damaged by immersion in sea water, and is of poor quality. (11:36)

Recovery - Aurora 7 at sea after being found by recovery forces. Includes rare footage of Carpenter aboard the recovery helicopter, and back aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid. Also includes recovery of the spacecraft, and considerable footage of the recovery force. Audio from air to ground tranmissions. (18:17)

Aftermath - Footage of the Carpenter family visiting President Kennedy, as well as footage from Carpenter's future career with Sealab. (10:27)

DISC 6

SIGMA 7 (MA-8)

Schirra Skis - Astronaut relaxation, with Wally Schirra water skiing prior to his flight. (4:14)

Preparation - Activities surrounding the preparation of the Sigma 7 spacecraft. Audio from interview with Wally Schirra. (37:53)

Suit Preparation - Footage of Schirra in testing of his suit prior to the mission. Audio from Mercury Control during the flight. (3:37)

Test Firing - Booster 113 D test firing at pad 14. Silent. (6:41)

Simulated Flight - Footage from a simulated flight of the MA-8 mission. Audio from a postflight program summary of the MA-8 flight. (9:04)

Launch Day - Launch day activities for MA-8, including transfer to pad and ingress. Audio from Mercury Control during the countdown for the mission. Note that audio begins a short time after video. (15:31)

Launch - Multiple views of the MA-8 launch. Audio from MA-8 onboard voice recorder. (8:00)

Onboard - Onboard film from the MA-8 mission. Audio from MA-8 onboard voice recorder. (24:15)

Recovery - Pickup of the spacecraft and egress of Schirra aboard ship. Audio from onboard recorder during recovery. (16:59)

Aftermath - Footage of Schirra's future career in space, including his Gemini VI and Apollo VII flights.

The Flight of Sigma 7 - Audio from the MA-8 onboard recorder (complete mission). (Approx. 9 hours)

FAITH 7 (MA-9)

Television Camera - Footage showing the slow-scan television camera carried aboard Faith 7. (4:29)

Preparation - Activities surrounding the preparation of the Faith 7 spacecraft. Audio from interview with Gordon Cooper. (43:04)

Suit Preparation - Gordo Cooper during suit testing and preparation for MA-9. Silent. (7:05)

Scrub - Footage from the MA-9 launch scrub. Silent. (8:44)

Launch Day - Footage of the pre-launch activities on the MA-9 mission, including suitup, transfer to pad and ingress. Audio from postflight program on the MA-9 flight. (21:54)

Launch - Multiple views of the MA-9 launch. Audio from air to ground transmissions. (5:11)

Onboard - Onboard film from the MA-9 mission. Audio from air to ground transmissions, partial. (8:31)

Recovery - Footage of the recovery of the Faith 7 spacecraft and astronaut Cooper. Audio from postflight program on the flight of MA-9. (22:01)

Aftermath - Footage of Cooper's future career with NASA including his Gemini V flight.

Product Reviews

(17 Ratings, 9 Reviews) Average Rating:
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An inspiring and moving account of Project Mercury
Charles Scamardo (Fort Smith, AR) 11/12/2013 12:50 AM
I finally was able to watch this huge amount of material on these 6 DVD's. What an experience! I was raised during the space race, and these brave, God Fearing Men were my hero's as I watched them get this Nation to the Moon. I loved seeing and experiencing video and information I had never seen or heard before, and that was quite common on this set. Just an awesome compilation of NASA History and the determination of an entire nation that stood as one on the shoulders of Giants to meet the challenge set by JFK. This is what America used to be. And I sorely miss it.
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Far exceeding expectations
Leon (Brooklyn, NY) 9/3/2012 8:28 PM
What a great tribute. Like other reviews said: entertaining, exciting, very informative, and truly beautiful, with great if not fantastic image quality. A fascinating page of history, and an amazing way to learn about it.
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Thank You
Kurt Moehlenkamp (Fort Wayne, IN) 8/18/2012 10:02 AM
I was born March the 4th 1961. My father Donald E Moehlenkamp worked at McDonnell, in St. Louis Mo. and was directly involved in the Mercury project, he was part of the engineering team that created the attitude adjustment rockets while in flight. I'm so very proud of him and his contribution to the greatness that we all now benefit from because of the space program. I just purchased this set and will treasure it for the rest of my life as a memento from my father's life to mine. Thank you Spacecraft films Kurt Moehlenkamp a proud son
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'The Real Stuff'
Mike (Ohio) 12/22/2011 10:30 AM
I wasn't sure what to expect and was thinking these sets might be akin to those cheesy and hastily created NASA box-set documentaries you find lying around at the bottom of the discount bin at Best Buy. This is not one of those. I took out the first two DVD's and couldn't stop watching. I was fascinated enough to replay certain scenes or segments. The production and image quality is superb. The video format fit my wide-screen HD and the quality was way better than expected on my 52 inch LCD, given that much of the footage is old. The restoration work is superb. As far as content, the visuals and historical footage are engrossing and fascinating without having the presence of the 'golly gee whiz' factor you often see in Hollywood and the popular documentaries about sapce flight. Voice-overs and narratives are well done and extremely informative, and they put everything you are seeing into proper context. Also, everything is presented accurately and sequenced correctly. Unlike movies, you won't see the crazy out-of-sequence stuff like shots of escape towers jettisoning a few seconds after liftoff and then the astronaut gripping an abort handle later on in the ascent. If you grew up in the Apollo era, are a space buff, engineer, scientist, or just intrigued, this is the kind of presentation you always wanted to see. As far as depictions of the Space Program, this is something producers never figured out--people can be engrossed by a video presentation of the subject without all the trappings of Hollywood. You don't need to overly embellish this subject for it to grip an audience.
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Stunningly beautiful
Wojtek Brzezinski (Krakow, Poland) 11/18/2010 3:29 PM
Entertaining, extremely informative, but first of all - beautiful. Amazing footage, fantastic picture quality. The first spacecraft films set I bought. If the others are even half this good, they're instant classics.
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