The Right Stuff
NASA Mercury Program
Pancho Barnes - aviatrix, stunt pilot, preacher's wife, Owner of Happy Bottom Riding Club bar/ranch, friend of Howard Hughes, Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, Buzz Aldridge & Lassie. 1st female stunt pilot; created 1st pilots' union; took on the Mexican Army dressed as a man; & fought the US Military when they stole her land... with great passion & joy.
LIFE | TIME
February 2, 1962: John Glenn If there is one characteristic that defines Ralph Morse's iconic portrait of astronaut John Glenn, it's the picture's wonderful, stirring simplicity. Here, on the very cusp of becoming a legend, a "brave man" (as LIFE unapologetically labeled him) stares, unblinking, into the camera.The Space Race is being run -- or rather, flown -- in deadly earnest. The Soviet Union has, thus far, been outpacing America by almost every measure. But when a straight-talking, clea...
Florida's Space Coast by Wade Arnold, Foreword by Astronaut Andy Allen
On this Day in History, April 9, 1959: NASA introduced America’s first astronauts who became known as the Original Seven (pictured) and were chosen for the country’s first space program "Project Mercury"
Astronaut Walter M. Schirra
Astronaut Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, one of the original seven astronauts for Mercury Project selected by NASA on April 27, 1959. The MA-8 (Mercury-Atlas) mission with Sigma 7 spacecraft was the third marned orbital flight by the United States, and made the six orbits in 9-1/4 hours.
LIFE | TIME
Six of the seven original Mercury astronauts in early 1961, shortly after three of them -- Shepard, John Glenn, and Gus Grissom -- were named candidates for the May 1961 space flight. (That's Shepard, clowning, with Gordon Cooper, Donald "Deke" Slayton, Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and Walter Schirra. Grissom was away, on missile-tracking duty.)
"Freedom 7"' Displayed in Air and Space Building
Astronaut Alan Shepard peers inside the Mercury "'Freedom 7"' spacecraft which he flew on May 5, 1961. The spacecraft was presented to the Smithsonian on October 23, 1961, and placed on display in the Aircraft Building (aka Quonset Hut) in the South Yard by the Smithsonian Castle. Source: Smithsonian Institution Archives
Space History Photo: Alan Shepard in Space Suit before Mercury Launch
Space History Photo: Astronaut Alan Shepard, in his silver pressure suit with the helmet visor closed, prepares for his upcoming Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) launch. On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the first American to fly into space.
Ralph Crane photo from Holloman Air Force Base, 1961.When Ham finally blasted off from Cape Canaveral, he was well-trained for what lay ahead. "He had a form-fitted couch like the astronauts'. The van which took him to the launching pad was the same van the astronauts will use. The Mercury capsule he rode in was nearly identical to the capsule that will take the astronauts into space, equipped with the same life-support system of oxygen and pressure which will keep the as...