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NASA at 50 - 1958: Project Mercury Begins

Project Mercury astronaut

Product Type: Video Learning Clip
Audience: Educators, Informal Education, Students
Grade Levels: 6-12
Year: 2008
Subjects: History


This set is part of the Discovery Education "NASA at 50" Series. Each set includes a video clip, an audio clip and a teachers guide. This episode discusses the start of Project Mercury and considers how NASA researchers determined the best shape for the first manned space capsules. Downloadable versions of the videos are captioned.

After viewing the program and participating in the discussion, students will be able to:

  • Explain how the Project Mercury space capsule was a revolutionary design for space engineering.
  • Describe how engineers tested the Project Mercury space capsule design.
  • Identify how Project Mercury ignited the space program for America by paving the way for the Gemini and Apollo programs.


Classroom activity: Students plot a timeline spanning the history and accomplishments of Project Mercury.

› NASA at 50 - 1958: Project Mercury Begins →
Duration: 4 minutes 25 seconds


Discovery Education 'NASA at 50' Series

Page Last Updated: December 10th, 2014
Page Editor: Flint Wild