Mercury Astronauts at April 9, 1959, News Conference
During the April 9, 1959 news conference that introduced the Mercury astronauts, they were asked, "Who wants to be the first man launched into space?"…Read More »
all seven raised their hands -- Walter Schirra and John Glenn raising both hands. From the left, are Donald Slayton, Alan Shepard, Schirra, Gus Grissom, Glenn, Gordon Cooper and Scott Carpenter. Less «
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Alan Shepard Speaks with Gus Grissom
Alan Shepard speaks with Gus Grissom (on left, back to camera), prior to climbing aboard his Freedom 7 capsule for his Mercury-Redstone 3 mission on May…Read More »
5, 1961. John Glenn (behind Shepard) waits to help strap Shepard into the spacecraft. Less «
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Wernher von Braun and Gordon Cooper
Marshall Space Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun looks on as Gordon Cooper serves as capsule communicator, or cap comm, for Alan Shepard's Mercury…Read More »
Redstone-3 countdown in the blockhouse at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Pad 5. Astronauts serve as "cap. Comms." to facilitate only one voice speaking to the spacecraft pilots. Less «
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John Glenn Running
John Glenn stays fit by running on the beach at Cape Canaveral.
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Scott Carpenter in Pressure Suit
In the Hanger S crew quarters prior to the Mercury Atlas-7 flight in May of 1962, Scott Carpenter participates in a checkout of his pressure suit.
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Gordon Cooper Departs the Crew Quarters
On May 15, 1963, Gordon Cooper departs the crew quarters at Hangar S for the trip to Launch Pad 14 for the Mercury Atlas-9 mission to orbit the Earth 22…Read More »
times. Following astronaut Cooper to the transfer van is Walter Schirra. Less «
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Project Mercury Astronauts and Convair F106-B Aircraft
Standing beside a Convair F106-B aircraft in a January 1961 photograph are the nation's Project Mercury astronauts. Left to right, are M. Scott Carpenter,…Read More »
L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Walter M. Schirra Jr., Alan B. Shepherd Jr. and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton. Less «
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration came into being on October 1, 1958. NASA announced the seven Project Mercury Astronauts on April 9, 1959,…Read More »
only six months later. They are: (front, l to r) Walter H. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and Scott Carpenter; (back, l to r) Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. Gus Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper. Less «
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Projecy Mercury Explained
Less than a year after its birth, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency announced its first astronaut class, the Mercury Seven, on April 9, 1959. Project…Read More »
Mercury proved that humans could live and work in space, paving the way for all future human exploration. Less «
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The Mercury Project
This 1958 scale model shows the Mercury capsule shape B design, indicating the position of the astronaut.
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NASA's First Spaceship: Project Mercury (Infographic)
Credit: Karl Tate/SPACE.com
See how the first American astronauts flew in space on NASA's Mercury space capsules in this SPACE.com infographic.
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The Original Seven
Bearded, with makeshift clothing, the seven original Mercury astronauts participated in U.S. Air Force survival training at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada.…Read More »
Pictured in this 1960 photograph are (l to r): L. Gordon Cooper, M. Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Virgil I. Grissom, Walter Schirra and Donald K. Slayton. Less «
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Launch of Mercury-Redstone
This Mercury-Redstone rocket placed the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard, in suborbit on May 5, 1961.
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Alan Shepard in Mercury Flight Suit
Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, poses here in his Mercury flight suit.
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Light the Candle
Astronaut Alan Shepard is hurled into space atop a Mercury-Redstone rocket. Freedom 7 was the first American manned suborbital space flight, making Shepard the first American in space
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Alan Shepard Aboard Freedom 7
Alan Shepard flew in space on May 5, 1961, the first American to do so. He launched aboard a Mercury-Redstone 3 rocket named Freedom 7. The suborbital flight lasted 15 minutes.
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Alan Shepard: First American in Space
NASA astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, 1961 aboard his Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7.
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Freedom 7: Alan Shepard's Mercury Flight
Navy test pilot Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
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Gimme Five, Bro!
On May 5, 1961 Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. arrives at Grand Bahamas Island and is greeted by astronaut Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom after the first American suborbital flight.
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Astronaut John Glenn Confers with Nurse Dolores B. O'Hara
Credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center
Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., pilot of the Mercury-Atlas 6 earth-orbital space mission, confers with Astronaut Nurse Dolores B. O'Hara, R.N., during MA-6 prelaunch preparations.
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John Glenn Enters Friendship 7
On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn rode the Friendship 7 capsule into space, the first time an American orbited the Earth. In this image, Glenn enters the capsule with assistance from technicians.
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Launch of Friendship 7
This image shows the launch of Friendship 7, the first American manned orbital space flight. With astronaut John Glenn aboard, the Mercury-Atlas rocket…Read More »
is launched from Pad 14, February 20, 1962. Less «
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Astronaut John Glenn During His First Orbit in Friendship 7
A weightless applesauce tube floats free following a snack by astronaut John Glenn in the course of his first orbit during the Mercury "Friendship 7" mission on February 20, 1962.
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Astronaut Scott Carpenter Inserted into Aurora 7 Spacecraft
Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter is inserted inside his Aurora 7 spacecraft, before the launch of the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission. Photo taken May 24, 1962.
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Launch of the Mercury-Atlas 7 Mission
The Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7), carrying Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter, was launched by NASA from Pad 14, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 24, 1962.
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Original Mercury Astronaut Wally Schirra
Walter Wally Schirra poses in his Mercury pressure suit with a model of the Mercury spacecraft behind him.
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Astronaut Scott Carpenter Recovered after MA-7 Flight
Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter, prime pilot for the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) mission, is seen being recovered from Atlantic Ocean after MA-7 flight. A diver…Read More »
helps Carpenter into a life raft while the capsule floats nearby. Photo taken July 10, 1962 Less «
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Historic Mercury Launch Pad Reimagined As Classroom
This aerial view of Launch Complex 14 (LC-14) at Cape Canaveral was taken in 1963. Project Mercury Rising proposes to restore and revive LC-14 as a classroom.
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Pictured is astronaut Walter M. Schirra, one of the original seven astronauts for Mercury Project selected by NASA on April 27, 1959. Schirra's Mercury-Atlas…Read More »
8 mission, during which he piloted his Sigma 7 spacecraft, was the third manned orbital flight by the United States. Less «
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Cece Bibby with Wally Schirra
Graphic artist Cece Bibby with Wally Schirra, as she applies the Sigma 7 logo to his Mercury spacecraft.
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Launch of the Mercury-Atlas 8 Mission
Launch of the Mercury-Atlas 8 "Sigma 7" mission, bearing astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
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Splashdown of Mercury-Atlas 8 Spacecraft
Landing with parachute extended of Astronaut Walter M. Schirra's Mercury-Atlas 8 (MA-8) capsule, called the Sigma 7, after a world orbital flight. Photo taken October 11, 1962.
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Mercury Atlas 9
Technicians were performing pre-launch testing of the Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA9) on Launch Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral when this photo was taken on May 14, 1963.…Read More »
A day later on May 15, Gordon Cooper successfully piloted this his 'Faith 7' spacecraft for more than 34 hours and 22 orbits. Less «
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Title: Astronaut Gordon Cooper in His Mercury Spacecraft
Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr.,prime pilot for the Mercury-Atlas 9 mission, inside his Mercury spacecraft runs through one of the numerous pre-flight checks…Read More »
surrounded by dials, switches, indicators and buttons. Less «
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Trophy for the Right Stuff
NASA Administrator James E. Webb (center) cites the space achievements of the Project Mercury Astronauts who received the 1963 Collier Trophy Award in…Read More »
a ceremony held at the White House on October 10, 1963. President John F. Kennedy (left) and Vice President Lyndon Johnson accompanied Webb at the ceremony. Five of the Mercury Seven astronauts are visible in the row behind James Webb. They are (starting from JFK's left): Alan Shepard, Donald "Deke" Slayton, John Glenn, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Scott Carpenter. Less «
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Freedom 7 Mercury Spacecraft on Display
Credit: heroicrelics.com/Mike Jetzer
Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 Mercury spacecraft as it is displayed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The capsule will soon be moving to Boston and then Washington, D.C.
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Stamps Honor First American in Space, Mercury Probe