'It's Been A Long Way': Remembering the Return of the Rookie, 50 Years On

“A long way, but we’re here,” were Shepard’s figuratively and literally appropriate words when he became the fifth man to set foot on the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, as the United States and the world stood on the cusp of launching the first humans to the surface of another world, a […]

“What a Beautiful View”: Remembering America’s First Man in Space, OTD in 1961

Al Shepard is hoisted aboard the helicopter, deftly piloted by Wayne Koons, after completing his 15-minute suborbital flight. The patch of fluorescent green marker dye in the water around Freedom 7 is particularly obvious. Photo Credit: NASA

In the half-hour between 9:30 and 10 a.m. EDT on this day in 1961, the United States […]

Sixty Years On, America Remembers the Achievements, Sacrifice of the Mercury Seven

Mercury astronauts John Glenn (3rd from left) and Scott Carpenter (far left) will headline NASA's “Celebrating 50 Years of Americans in Orbit" event at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex February 18. Photo Credit: NASA

The “Mercury Seven”, pictured in an early training photograph. From left to right are Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Wally Schirra, Al Shepard and Deke Slayton. Photo Credit: NASA

Best known as the residence of the fourth First Lady of the United States, on this day in 1959 the Dolley […]

'Old Reliable': 60 Years Since a Weapon of War Became a Rocket for Space

One of the earliest rockets to be launched from Cape Canaveral was the Army’s Redstone missile, which later evolved into the vehicle seen here delivering America’s first man into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Sixty years ago, this week, a weapon of war became a rocket for space. On 8 January 1959, the U.S. […]

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 […]

'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 […]

Grissom, White, and Chaffee: On 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Fire, America Remembers

On the 50th anniversary of their loss, America remembers the sacrifice of (from left) Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Photo Credit: NASA

At 6:31 p.m. EST on Friday, 27 January 1967, as night fell over Cape Kennedy in Florida, one of the worst disasters ever to befall America’s space program […]

'A Chart Jumped Out At Me': Remembering John Glenn's Return to Space (Part 1)

On 29 October 1998, at the age of 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Even today, almost two decades since his headline-grabbing flight, veteran Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn retains the world record as the oldest living […]

'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 […]

'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 […]