Boilerplate Mercury spacecraft with launch escape system on the ground before July 22, 1959 test flight
|Mission type||Abort test|
|Mission duration||1 minutes, 16 seconds|
|Distance travelled||1.6 kilometres (1 mi)|
|Apogee||0.80 kilometres (0.5 mi)|
|Launch mass||1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||May 9, 1960|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||May 9, 1960|
The Beach Abort was an unmanned test in NASA's Project Mercury, of the Mercury spacecraft Launch Escape System. Objectives of the test were a performance evaluation of the escape system, the parachute and landing system, and recovery operations in an off-the-pad abort situation. The test took place at NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia, test facility on May 9, 1960. In the test, the Mercury spacecraft and its Launch Escape System were fired from ground level. The flight lasted a total of 1 minute, 16 seconds. The spacecraft reached an apogee of 0.751 kilometres (2,465 ft) and splashed down in the ocean with a range of 0.97 kilometres (0.6 mi).Top speed was a velocity of 436 metres per second (976 mph). A Marine Corps helicopter recovered the spacecraft 17 minutes after launch. The test was considered a success, although there was insufficient separation distance when the tower jettisoned. Mercury Spacecraft #1, the first spacecraft off McDonnell's production line, was used in this test. Total payload weight was 1,154 kilograms (2,544 lb).
- Dumoulin, Jim. "Beach-Abort (7)". NASA Kennedy Space Center Science. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Pearlman, Robert. "NASA's Launch Abort Test Builds on 50 Years of Astronaut Escape Systems". Space.com. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Bauduin, Pierre; McDowell, Johnathan. "Mercury BA-1". WEEBAU SPACE ENCYCLOPEDIA. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "New York Hall of Science Rocket Park Exhibit". Archived from the original on 2008-03-03.
- This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury - NASA SP-4201
- NASA NSSDC Master Catalog
- Video of Mercury Beach Abort Test
- Additional Images of the Spacecraft