The Mercury pilot, flanked by military medical officers, is on the U.S.S. Randolph after his 1961 mission.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, pilot of the Mercury spacecraft, "Liberty Bell 7" arrives aboard the recovery ship, U.S.S. Randolph, following his 15 minute 37 seconds suborbital space mission.
He is flanked by military medical officers. Grissom's capsule sank soon after splashdown and was not recovered until nearly forty years later.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).