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NASA Mercury Space Program - These 3 were chosen to complete the first Mercury Flights. Glenn (1st American to Orbit Earth), Grissom and Shepherd (1st American in Space)

NASA Mercury Space Program - These 3 were chosen to complete the first Mercury Flights. Glenn American to Orbit Earth), Grissom and Shepherd American in Space) ~ETS

Ralph Morse, LIFE photo, source Google/Life 2008 (Free). REMASTERED by Dan Beaumont. NASA PHOTO: S61-00239 (1961) --- Mercury astronauts John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. Grissom and Alan B. Shepard Jr. standing by Redstone rocket in their spacesuits. Mercury Astronauts, presentation at a press conference , April 9, 1959, Part. 1, 2, 3 VIDEO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7WzC9BN2Dc www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va08q81O2G0 www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuXXw5Jggvg

1961 -- The first three Americans in space, Mercury astronauts, from the left, John H., Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom and Alan B. standing by Redstone rocket in their spacesuits. Photo credit: NASA NASA image use policy.

Photo of Chrysler artist Cece Bibby talking with Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. Photo Credit: NASA

Photo of Chrysler artist Cece Bibby talking with Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter.

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space. October 23, 1961, Shepard attended the ceremony when Freedom 7 was presented to the Smithsonian Institution.

jump-suit: “lightthiscandle: “ “Alan B., peers into the window of the Mercury ‘Freedom spacecraft which he flew on May 5 The spacecraft was presented to the Smithsonian on October and placed on display in the Quonset.

Judith Resnick - April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986 - was an engineer and a NASA astronaut who died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission STS-51-L. Resnik was the second American woman astronaut, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor. She was born and raised in Akron…

Judith Resnick - April 1949 – January 1986 - was an engineer and a NASA astronaut who died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission Resnik was the second American woman astronaut, logging 145 hours in orbit.

S61-02767 (5 May 1961) --- Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. in flight couch for final check before insertion into capsule for his Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) flight. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

May --- Astronaut Alan B. in flight couch for final check before insertion into capsule for his Mercury-Redstone 3 flight. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Astronaut Alan Shepard, Jr., poses in the Mercury space craft at Cape Canaveral in 1961. Shepard, the first American to fly in space and one of only 12 Americans to walk on the moon.

, poses in the Mercury space craft at Cape Canaveral in Shepard, the first American to fly in space and one of only 12 Americans to walk on the moon. My dad helped design it!

MA-7, Aurora 7, lifts of from Launch Complex 14, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 7:45:16 a.m., EST, 24 May 1962. (NASA)

On May 1962 Aurora 7 went off course during re-entry. Watch stunning NASA video about Aurora 7 and the flight.

Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., undergoes a simulated orbital flight as part of his training for Project Mercury in the Manned Spacecraft Center's procedure trainer at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. (Great Images in NASA)

Astronaut John H., undergoes a simulated orbital flight as part of his training for Project Mercury in the Manned Spacecraft Center's procedure trainer at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. (Great Images in NASA)

finalists for the Mercury program - Conrad and Lovell missed the final cut but were chosen for Astronaut Group 2

finalists for the Mercury program - Conrad and Lovell missed the final cut but were chosen for Astronaut Group 2

Nasa | (15 Dec. 1965) —- Astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr. (seated), command pilot of NASA’s Gemini-6 spaceflight, relaxes in the suiting trailer at Launch Complex 16 during the Gemini-6 prelaunch countdown at Cape Kennedy, Florida. He is talking with astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., chief, Astronaut Office, Manned Spacecraft Center. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Nasa | (15 Dec. 1965) —- Astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr. (seated), command pilot of NASA’s Gemini-6 spaceflight, relaxes in the suiting trailer at Launch Complex 16 during the Gemini-6 prelaunch countdown at Cape Kennedy, Florida. He is talking with astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., chief, Astronaut Office, Manned Spacecraft Center. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration