What is project mercury rising?

It is a unique plan to educate youth in engineering and mechanics- and promote enthusiasm for space exploration.

The project will entail refurbishment of the deteriorating Mercury launch complex to the way it was in the early 1960s (with some modern improvements) for use as an educational facility. The facility will be used to host programs similar to Space Camp for middle to high school students. Rather than the astronaut and flight controller training that is provided by Space Camp, they will focus on engineering and the hands-on technical skills needed to process and launch spacecraft.

how it will work

Students will be taught the basics of engineering, mechanics, and electronics in a historical context by working on a replica Mercury rocket. They will learn skills- such as wiring, soldering, fabrication, troubleshooting, and testing- using the legacy hardware. After mastering these basic skills, participants will move on to process their own real payload, which will actually be launched into space by our commercial space partner, Masten Space Systems.

why we should do this

The project has numerous benefits, not the least of which is inspiring our youth in the absence of a national human spaceflight program. Other benefits include:

  • Providing STEM education to middle & high school students

  • Building participants’ confidence about working in technical fields

  • Providing aerospace work experience for college students through internships

  • Creating jobs that will keep space workers in the area & current in critical skills

  • Preserving a historic launch site that has fallen into disrepair

  • Generating enthusiasm for commercial space operations

  • Bringing money into the struggling local economy

funding sources
 Funding for this project can come from many sources. Due to the diverse needs that will be met by the project, grant money will potentially be available from organizations such as NASA’s Office of Education, the U. S. and Florida Departments of Education, the State of Florida (for historic preservation), corporate sponsors, and many others.

A unique solution to a difficult problem
While the main goal of this project is education, it also serves to combat issues such as the impending loss of jobs at Kennedy Space Center upon conclusion of the Shuttle Program. Unlike many of the other proposed solutions to the Shuttle Program workforce transition problem, this project will create actual jobs requiring the critical skills that displaced workers possess. It will allow them to share these skills with future generations of aerospace workers and ensure that this knowledge is not lost forever.