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It’s actually a bit surprising that von Braun didn’t get his chance here—it’s hard to overestimate the prestige he had in the United States immediately following Explorer 1. The upper cone would occupy the usual position of a Redstone missile’s tip, while the lower cone would be embedded tip-down in the body of the missile.This lower cone would house the astronaut and the various life-support and guidance equipment he would need.On the other hand, another diagram showing only the lower cone has its base clearly larger than this, and a third schematic of the crewed interior shows the pilot at a slight angle, feet downward. In any case, with the pilot bolted into place more than seated, the Jupiter-C would be lit and our astronaut would be underway on his journey.
After reaching the end of the rocket’s burn time, the double-cone craft would be cut loose, sail past apogee at 150 miles (240 km), the cut loose the upper cone as superfluous.
Ironically enough, considering how Project Mercury flew its first couple of times, NACA head Hugh Dryden pooh-poohed it by comparing it to a circus’s Human Cannonball act. Though the Army dressed up Adam as leading to troop drops from space, the hybrid Adam capsule-craft had no development potential.
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