In Dire Peril: 55 Years Since the Troubled Mission of Aurora 7 (Part 2)

Chrysler artist Cece Bibby chats with Scott Carpenter, after stencilling the name “Aurora 7” onto his spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, this week, Scott Carpenter became America’s second man in orbit. Aboard Mercury-Atlas (MA)-7—a spacecraft which he had dubbed “Aurora 7”—the astronaut was tasked with the most comprehensive program of scientific research […]

Dawn of a New Age: 55 Years Since the Troubled Mission of Aurora 7 (Part 1)

Scott Carpenter, America’s fourth man in space and second to orbit the Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, this week, America launched its second man into orbit around the Earth. That man should have been Deke Slayton, but a heart murmur had left him grounded, not in favor of his backup, Wally Schirra, […]

'Worth Waiting 16 Years For': Remembering Deke Slayton's Unrealized Mercury Mission (Part 2)

Savoring his first experience of weightlessness, Deke Slayton traverses through the Docking Module during his one and only space mission. Photo Credit: NASA

By the middle of March 1962, Donald “Deke” Slayton—decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot and veteran of the grueling Project Mercury selection campaign, during which he had proven […]

'Change in Velocity': Remembering Deke Slayton's Unrealized Mercury Mission (Part 1)

AS-6.13.13-ASTP-563-S75-23429 Retro Space Images post of NASA photo of Apollo astronaut Deke Slayton posted on AmericaSpace

Deke Slayton, one of the “Original Seven” NASA astronauts, was grounded from his Mercury mission 55 years ago, this month. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, America was a nation in euphoria. Astronaut John Glenn returned triumphantly to Earth on 20 February 1962, after orbiting Earth three times in his Mercury capsule—named “Friendship 7”—and […]

'Just a Normal Day': Remembering John Glenn's Mercury Flight (Part 2)

Bobbing gently in the waves after a highly successful – though nail-bitingly harrowing – mission, Friendship 7 is readied for winching out of the water. Photo Credit: NASA

On the afternoon of 20 February 1962, millions of Americans listened and watched, transfixed as their countryman, John Glenn, plummeted back to Earth after completing three […]

'Zero-G and I Feel Fine': Remembering John Glenn's Mercury Flight (Part 1)

Blurred and somewhat lacking in detail, this image of John Glenn in orbit aboard Friendship 7 represents one of the United States’ greatest advances in space technology in the 20th century: the effort to achieve piloted orbital flight. Photo Credit: NASA

Two months after his death, aged 95, Monday will be a somber date […]

'The First Thing I Had Ever Lost': 55 Years Since Gus Grissom's Flight in the Liberty Bell (Part 2)

This was one of the final views of Liberty Bell 7 on 21 July 1961, before it was lost beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Not until 1999, more than three decades after Grissom’s death, would the sunken capsule be returned to the surface. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Fifty-five years ago, […]

'Isn't That Good Enough?' 55 Years Since Gus Grissom's Flight in the Liberty Bell (Part 1)

The white crack on the side of his capsule, paralleling that on the real Liberty Bell, is visible to the left of this pre-launch image of Virgil “Gus” Grissom. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Had Virgil “Gus” Grissom lived longer, wrote Deke Slayton in his autobiography, Deke, he would have been the first […]

'What a Beautiful View': 55 Years Since Freedom 7 Began America's Adventure in Space (Part 2)

Shepard’s 15-minute flight offered him a few minutes of weightlessness and a few minutes to glimpse the grandeur of Earth from space. He was only the second human being to leave the Home Planet. Photo Credit: NASA

In the half-hour between 9:30 and 10 a.m. EDT on 5 May 1961, the United States came […]

'Man, I Gotta Pee': 55 Years Since Freedom 7 Began America's Adventure in Space (Part 1)

Alan Shepard (left) and John Glenn were assigned as prime and backup pilots for America’s first mission into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, in the early hours of 5 May 1961, America prepared to launch its first man into space. Navy Cmdr. Alan Shepard would fly a suborbital flight—rising from Pad 5 […]