“That’s a real fireball outside.” But just how much?

posted in: Project Mercury | 2

Every spacecraft that achieves orbital velocity must somehow give up that velocity to return to Earth. For Mercury, this meant paying off the energy into an ablative heat shield, a protective covering on the blunt end of the spacecraft designed to “ablate,” or burn off slowly, protecting the spacecraft within. After entry, Mercury detached its heat shield, which would deploy … Read More