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Space History Photo: Grissom Climbs into Liberty Bell 7

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Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom climbs into "Liberty Bell 7" spacecraft the morning of July 21, 1961. (Image credit: NASA)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom climbs into "Liberty Bell 7" spacecraft the morning of July 21, 1961. Backup Astronaut John Glenn assists in the operation.

The Mercury-Redstone 4 (MR-4) successfully launched the Liberty Bell 7 at 7:20 am EST on July 21, 1961. MR-4 was the second in a series of successful U.S. manned suborbital flights.

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

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov