Mercury-Atlas 9
Mercury-Atlas 9

Technicians were performing pre-launch testing of the Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA9) on Launch Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral when this photo was taken on May 14, 1963. A day later on May 15, Gordon Cooper successfully piloted this his 'Faith 7' spacecraft for more than 34 hours and 22 orbits.

Cooper's flight stretched the capabilities of the Mercury capsule to the limits. His 34-hour flight lasted more than three times the longest U.S. human space flight until that time, and far exceeded the initial design capability of the capsule.

Image Credit: NASA

Page Last Updated: September 27th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator