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

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NASA Archives
NASA Archives

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