Hdr 6



The portable cameras on board some of the early Mercury test flights were mounted to provide a view out the exterior window and configured to take pictures at defined, regular intervals.

We have compiled together the entire sequence of images from MR-1A, MR-2, MR-3, MA-4, and MA-5 into movies, which you can find below for viewing and download (in a reasonably high resolution).


Mercury MR-1A

MR-1A was an uncrewed mission that launched on December 19, 1960. The mission objective of MR-1A was to qualify systems for suborbital operations. The mission duration was 15 minutes 45 seconds.

Mercury MR-2

MR-2 carried Ham (a chimpanzee) on January 31, 1961. Mission objective was to subject primate to suborbital conditions and test auto abort. Mission duration was 0 hours, 16 minutes, and 39 seconds.

Mercury MR-3

MR-3 was crewed by Alan B. Shepard, Jr., who became the first American in space on May 5, 1961. Mission objective was to determine human capabilities in a space environment and in those environments to which humans will be subject upon going into and returning from space. Spacecraft used was the Freedom 7. Mission duration was 0 hours, 15 minutes, and 28 seconds.

Mercury MA-4

MA-4 was an uncrewed mission on September 13, 1961. The mission objective was to assess spacecraft environment control in orbit. Mission duration was 0 days, 1 hour, 49 minutes, and 20 seconds.

Mercury MA-5

MA-5 carried Enos (a chimpanzee) on November 29, 1961. Mission objective was a primate test of Environmental Control System in Orbit. Mission duration was 0 days, 3 hours, 20 minutes, and 59 seconds.

About Movies

To create these movies we utilized the processed image products for each mission (the "Low Resolution" files). These images were sequenced together into a QuickTime movie, a header with an intro was added, and a footer was added. Each movie is the resolution 600x626 (with the exception of MR-2, which is 600x628; dimensions in pixels)

For each mission, the camera was configured to automatically take pictures every "X" seconds. For each of these missions, the time between each actual picture is approx. 6 seconds (this can be verified using the clock that is embedded in each photo). The only exception to this is MA-5, which has a rate of approx. 32 seconds.

However, creating the movie as 1 picture every 6 seconds (for example), would be a very slow movie. Each movie above was created using 6 frames per second. This means that every second of the movie you watch is the combination/sequence of 6 individual pictures from the mission (keeping in mind that the pictures were also actually taken [snapped/shot] 6 seconds apart, on average).

These two factors (time between each picture being taken and the rate of frames in movies) accounts for the "dodgy-ness" of the movies.