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AMELIA EARHART
On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart flew away from a town called Lae in the South Pacific. Earhart was attempting to circumnavigate the globe. After taking off from Lae, she disappeared. The Superhero Historians will investigate her life, her final flight, and the possible outcomes to that flight.
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Topic: THE SPACE RACE

On October 4, 1957 history changed forever. On that day the Soviet Union lauched Sputnik I into space. Find out how a basketball sized satellite changed the world. We will cover a lot, putting more focus on Project Mercury.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faith 7

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Gordon Cooper’s space flight was called Faith 7.  The goal of Faith 7 was to have a man in orbit for an entire day.  This flight builds on the two before it.  Faith 7 was completely successful.  The mission lasted for 1 day, 10 hours, 19 minutes, and 49 seconds.  Gordon Cooper was weightless for 34 hours, 3 minutes, and 30 seconds and traveled 546,167 miles.  Let’s think about that distance.  You would have to drive from New York City to Los Angeles 195 times to get near that distance.  That would take 8,580 hours in a car, depending on traffic.  That is about a year.  Gordon Cooper did it in a little over a day.  Crazy.

By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Colonel Cooper

Dean Dillopolis, People Historian

Colonel Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. was the final Project Mercury astronaut to liftoff into space.  He was born on March 6, 1927 in Oklahoma.  He died on October 4, 2004 in California.  He was 77.


By: Dean Dillopolis, People Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sigma 7

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Walter M. Schirra, Jr. was the next astronaut to explore space in Project Mercury.  Once again the objective was to orbit the Earth, but for an even longer time.  They wanted him to orbit for 9 hours.  That meant 6 times around the Earth.


By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Scott Carpenter

Dean Dillopolis, People Historian

Remember SEALAB?  Scott Carpenter is someone who has spent time in both space and under the sea.  He is an astronaut/aquanot!  Sounds like a superhero to me.  Scott Carpenter was born on May 1, 1925 in Boulder, Colorado.  He started work in the Navy in 1949.  He flew in the Korean War.  The missions included anti-submarine and ship surveillance.  After the war he became a test pilot in Patuxent River, Maryland.


By: Dean Dillopolis, People Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We’ve Come A Long Way

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Kind of neat to see the comparison between the first manned launch and the latest manned launch.

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Reuters/Scott Audette

By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Monday, October 22, 2007

SEALAB II

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Space is very different from Earth.  Humans have flown into orbit for decades, but it is still a great unknown.  The ocean is another place that is very different from Earth.  Well, Project Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter has tackled both space and ocean.


By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Project Mercury Mission Patches

Rhonda Rodentilly, Document Historian

Good to see everyone again!  Every mission in Project Mercury had its own patch.  Look at the patches below.  Which one is your favorite?

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I like the Glenn and Shepard patches because they show what the mission is about.  The Shepard patch has Florida and the capsule going up, then coming down.  The Glenn patch has three rings around the Earth!

Wouldn’t it be fun to make your own mission patches?  You can make them for anything.  If you are doing a school project you can design a patch for that project.  If you are trying to reach any goal, make a patch!

By: Rhonda Rodentilly, Document Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aurora 7

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Keep in mind that Project Mercury was full of science.  The project went step by step and followed up successful launches with similar tests.  This is almost like doing a science project in school.  Following John Glenn’s orbit, NASA sent M. Scott Carpenter into space to orbit the Earth 3 times.


By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Inside the Capsule

Barley Hugg, Location Historian

Hey everyone! I recently saw the picture below and wanted to share it with everyone. This is a picture of the inside of “Friendship 7.” That’s not John Glenn in there… well, I hope not. No, seriously, that’s just a dummy, but it gives you a good look at how cramped the capsule must have been. It would be tough to eat anything in there. That would be one problem I’d have with becoming an astronaut. “How would you like to be aboard the next shuttle launch, Barley.” “Well, that would be great, but can I bring a BBQ with some fresh salmon?” That probably wouldn’t work too well.

The measurements of Friendship 7:

Height: 9 ft.
Maximum Diameter: 6 ft 3 in.
Weight: 2,900 lbs.

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By: Barley Hugg, Location Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

John Glenn

Dean Dillopolis, People Historian

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. was born on July 18, 1921.  He spent a lot of time growing up in Ohio.  Being born in Cambridge and going to school, up through college, in New Concord.  He became a Marine fighter pilot and flew 59 combat missions in World War II.  He worked as an instructor in advanced fighter training from 1948 until 1950.  In Korea he flew 63 missions with Marine Fighter Squadron 311.  He also flew 27 missions as an exchange pilot with the Air Force.  Glenn has nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, with approximately 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.  That is a lot!  Wow!


By: Dean Dillopolis, People Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

John Glenn Re-Entry

Rhonda Rodentilly, Document Historian

NASA thought they had a problem during John Glenn’s reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.  They thought his heat shield was loose.  Without the heat shield his capsule would burn up due to the extreme temperature.  Well, thanks to the National Archives, we have the official transcript of John Glenn’s radio communications during that point in his flight.  Click here to take a look. On the transcript, “P” is John Glenn.

By: Rhonda Rodentilly, Document Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Orbiting the Earth and Landing

Barley Hugg, Location Historian

NASA had finally succeeded in placing a human being in space.  They did it twice.  Now it was time to see how a human would react to orbiting the Earth.  That was one of the main goals of the third manned Project Mercury flight.  Guess what another objective was.  To be able to find the capsule when it landed.

That sounds kind of funny.  When you think about it though, it makes sense.  The first two manned missions had rockets go up and come down.  This mission had the rocket go up and then circle the entire Earth three times before coming down.  There was definitely the possibility of the capsule coming down somewhere where nobody would see it.  The capsule did come down short of where it was planned.  That was because the scientists did not figure on weight loss due to used fuel.  Click here to see a map of where John Glenn landed! You will have to zoom around to find land!

By: Barley Hugg, Location Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Rescued from the Atlantic

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Remember how the hatch on Grissom’s capsule exploded?  The capsule sat on the ocean floor for almost 38 years!  It was 15,000 feet deep.  That is deeper than the Titanic sat.  In July of 1999 they finally recovered the Liberty Bell 7 from the Atlantic.  Scientists from the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center helped repair and clean the capsule.  They took apart 26,000 parts to clean them.  Then put it back together.  Talk about your all-time repair project!  You can see the Liberty Bell 7 on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas.

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By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Liberty Bell 7

Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian

Virgil “Gus” Grissom’s sub-orbital flight lasted longer than Shepard’s did.  By 9 seconds!  These first two Project Mercury manned space flights were very brief.  Grissom’s lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds.


By: Dorothy Duckinsie, Invention / Things Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Gus Grissom

Dean Dillopolis, People Historian

Vigil “Gus” Grissom was born on April 3, 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana.  He took the second manned flight in Project Mercury.  Grissom’s flight was sub-orbital, like Shepard’s.


By: Dean Dillopolis, People Historian
Topic: THE SPACE RACE
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