National Geographic : 1962 Jun
large attitude-control thruster comes into ac tion. Since the big one consumes so much hydrogen peroxide fuel, the original plan was not to use it to hold attitude. If this keeps up, he will run out. Apparently the small one pound thruster is stuck. Shepard asks for a report on the difficulty with the autopilot. Glenn gives him a run down and switches to "fly-by-wire." In fly-by-wire he controls the capsule's at titude himself, using the same electric signals that the autopilot uses. This system worked well for roll and pitch, but he had to use the manual control for yaw throughout most of the rest of the flight. 01:37:00 Back over the Cape now. The first orbit is complete, and he is off on the second. 01:51:13 This is Friendship7. He is speak ing once again to the Canaries. The sun com ing through the window is very warm where it hits the suit. 01:53:46 He has been fighting the problem of the autopilot all the way across the Atlan tic. The problem is still with him, but now the capsule is drifting off to the left. He re ports this and gets ready to make a 180° turn. As he arrives at 180°, the ground comes di rectly toward him. "Just like sitting up front in a Greyhound bus. Boy, that's beautiful. I like this attitude better than flying back ward," he says to himself. 02:08:38 Over Zanzibar once again. He is back in the old attitude, looking at where he has been. He peeks around the edge of the window at the setting sun. It reminds him of the arc lights on the pad, just like one of them shining in the window. Below he can see lightning zipping around a large storm to the north. The cloud tops glow "like a light bulb wrapped in cotton." The Weather Bureau scientists will be in terested in this. They want to improve the Tiros satellites so that they can see weather phenomena on the dark side. * The human eye is a better optical device than the one their satellites use. 02:14:22 Glenn hears a buzzing in his ear phones, and a bright amber light comes on at the right-hand side of the panel, warning that the fuel for his autopilot and fly-by-wire con trol system is down to 60 percent. Nothing to worry about. He has now switched to the manual system. 02:19:10 The Indian Ocean Ship calls: We have message from Mercury Control Center *See "Our Earth as a Satellite Sees it," by W. G . Stroud, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, August, 1960.