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[i]The countdown given by Shepard reached zero. Nothing happened. At this point everyone was expecting the automatic sequencer to fire the three retro-rockets.
Carpenter hit the manual override button. And again – nothing happened. There was a two second delay before the rockets actually fired producing in the cabin a puff of acrid smoke probably caused by a short circuit in the firing mechanism. This delay contributed some 15 to 20 miles to the overshoot on landing.
When the rockets fired in their ripple pattern they did not produce the kick that Carpenter was expecting. This loss of the expected thrust added another 60 miles.
The remaining 170 or so miles came as a result of a misalignment during retrofire. Not in the vital pitch angle but in yaw. When the rockets fired the capsule was slanted about 25 degrees off to the right. As retrofire progressed Carpenter gradually brought this back to zero, but because the rockets did not fire in an absolutely straight line down the flight path they lost effectiveness.
All three elements added up to 250 miles over the expected landing point.[/i]
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