LIBERTY BELL 7 ON THIS DATE IN 1961

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Virgil “Gus” Grissom

Grissom_prepares_to_enter_Liberty_Bell_7_61-MR4-76

On July 21, 1961,  Capt. Virgil “Gus”Grissom was pilot of the second Project
Mercury flight, Mercury-Redstone 4, popularly known as Liberty Bell 7. This
was a suborbital flight which lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. After the
splashdown, emergency explosive bolts unexpectedly fired and blew the
hatch off, causing water to flood into the spacecraft. Quickly exiting through
the open hatch and into the ocean, Grissom was nearly drowned as water
began filling his spacesuit. A nearby helicopter tried to lift and recover the
flooding spacecraft, but it became too heavy, and was cut loose before
before sinking. Grissom asserted he had done nothing to cause the hatch
to blow, and NASA officials eventually concluded that he was correct.

grissom and helicopter

Grissom is shown being lifted from the ocean following splashdown

liberty-bell-7-retrieval

A Marine helicopter attempts to recover the water logged Liberty Bell 7

posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,HISTORY,Science,SPACE and have No Comments

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