Space History Photo: Cooper Inside Faith 7 After Hatch is Blown
This astronaut has a big smile after his 1963 orbit mission in Faith 7.
Credit: NASA

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr., has a smile for the recovery crew of the U.S.S. Kearsarge, after he is on board from a successful 22 orbit mission of the Earth in his Mercury spacecraft "Faith 7."

Cooper is still sitting in his capsule, with his helmet off.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).