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Space History Photo: MA-1 Capsule Reassembled After Explosion

space history, nasa, mercury
NASA engineers reassembled the MA-1 Capsule to determine what caused the explosion shortly after the 1960 launch. (Image credit: NASA)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the MA-1 capsule sits after reassembly. The main objectives of Mercury Atlas-1 (MA-1) were to recover the capsule and test the integrity of the Mercury capsule structure and afterbody shingles.

About one minute after liftoff MA-1 exploded and the remaining debris landed 7 miles off the Florida shore. The debris was collected and engineers attempted to reassemble MA-1 to determine the cause of the explosion.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov