The Communications Systems for the Mercury Project
Grades: 6 - 12

Video Description: New March 2023! Learn directly from NASA engineers and see NASA footage of the time as they describe the communication systems used for the Mercury missions.

Type of Video: Segment*
Unique Video ID: Space-27**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video in conjunction with a critical thinking/design activity. Let the students know that the challenge is communicating with the astronauts while they orbit the Earth but there are no satellites available to use. How would you set up a communications system to keep track of the spacecraft as it orbited the Earth and keep talking to the astronaut while he’s up there? Then watch the video to learn how it was actually done.


To learn more about the technology available at the beginning of the space race with three NASA Mercury Program engineers, check out the full program this segment is edited from: History in the First Person: Building the Mercury Capsule 2. (Unique ID: Engineering-8)

*Segment videos are short excerpts edited from interviews or interactive programs that offer flexible and differentiated ways to use the rich content included in the full-length conversation.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.