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Space History Photo: Cooper Inside Faith 7 After Hatch is Blown

space history, nasa, mercury
This astronaut has a big smile after his 1963 orbit mission in Faith 7. (Image 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, 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.