Liberty Bell 7

The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom

  • Colin Burgess

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Colin Burgess
    Pages 1-53
  3. Colin Burgess
    Pages 55-66
  4. Colin Burgess
    Pages 67-100
  5. Colin Burgess
    Pages 101-121
  6. Colin Burgess
    Pages 123-159
  7. Colin Burgess
    Pages 161-198
  8. Colin Burgess
    Pages 199-222
  9. Colin Burgess
    Pages 223-244
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 245-275

About this book


NASA’s Mercury astronauts were seven highly skilled professional test pilots. Each of them seemed to possess the strength of character and commitment necessary to overcome apparently insurmountable obstacles as the United States entered into a Cold War space race with the Soviet Union. This was never more evident than on the epic suborbital MR-4 flight of Liberty Bell 7 with astronaut Virgil (‘Gus’) Grissom piloting the spacecraft to a successful splashdown, followed by the premature blowing of the craft’s explosive hatch. After a hurried exit and struggling to stay afloat, he could only watch helplessly as the recovery helicopter pilot valiantly fought a losing battle to save the sinking capsule.


That day NASA not only lost a spacecraft but came perilously close to losing one of its Mercury astronauts, a decorated Korean fighter pilot from Indiana who might one day have soared to the highest goal of them all, as the first person to set foot on the Moon.


For the first time, many of those closest to the flight of Liberty Bell 7 and astronaut Gus Grissom offer their stories and opinions on the dramatic events of July 21, 1961, and his later pioneering Gemini mission. They also tell of an often controversial life cut tragically and horrifically short in a launch pad fire that shocked the nation.



Liberty Bell 7 Mercury Astronauts Mercury Program Mercury Space Flights Mercury-Redstone Pioneers in Early Spaceflight Second American in Space Spam in Can US Manned Spaceflight Virgil (Gus) Grissom

Authors and affiliations

  • Colin Burgess
    • 1
  1. 1.Bonnet BayAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-04390-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-04391-3
  • About this book