This report contains the results of a preliminary study of the search and recovery operations required for the safe and expeditious return of the Mercury Recovery Capsule in the first series of orbital flights. The study is concerned primarily with the high-probability impact areas in the Atlantic Ocean. Emphasis is placed on safe recovery within reasonable time at least cost. A preliminary study of this nature is not able to provide final answers to all of the problems; the report instead constitutes a “first look” at the overall operation. Much of the report is therefore devoted to basic data, the building blocks from which recovery systems can be assembled and evaluated. These include the performance characteristics, reliability, and cost of the vehicles and equipment which may be used, and their compatibility with one another, with the capsule, and with the expected environment. The availability of vehicles and equipment has also been considered, although it is appreciated that this may change from week to week where the forces are drawn from the military services, consideration of alternative vehicles, equipment, and systems, and their evaluation from the standpoint of effectiveness and cost. While the equipment considered is generally expected to be operational throughout 1960, consideration is also given to more advanced schemes which might effect reductions in recovery time, cost, or dependence upon the military forces.
Preliminary Study of Capsule Recovery for the First Series of Project Mercury Orbital Flights – July 1, 1959 [241 Pages, 30MB]
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