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Cooper Prepares for 22-Orbit Journey

Apr. 1, 1963 - On his forthcoming 22-orbit flight, Major Gordon Cooper (pictured), the Mercury astronaut, will send back a television view of the earth from more than 100 miles in space. During his 33-hour flight, the astronaut will also be given an “eight-hour rest period” that he can use “at his own discretion” for napping, making observations, or maneuvering his spacecraft. The “flight plan” worked out for the Mercury mission, now scheduled for mid-May, calls for only a limited number of scientific experiments to be performed by the astronaut. As in past Mercury flights, the emphasis will continue to be on the “engineering performance” of the capsule and the astronaut as a test pilot. Probably no astronaut — American or Soviet — has gone into orbit with as many cameras as will Major Cooper. He will have separate still cameras to take pictures of the zodiacal light, of the earth’s horizon, and of the clouds and a 16-mm. movie camera to take pictures of the view outside. His most novel piece of photographic equipment, however, will be a small, eight-pound television camera capable of transmitting slow-scan TV pictures to receiving stations at Cape Canaveral, Fla., the Canary Islands, and on a command ship in the western Pacific.


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