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. […]

‘Beautiful View’: Remembering America’s First Manned Mission to Space, 57 Years Ago This Week

On the deck of the U.S.S. Lake Champlain, Alan Shepard checks out the interior of Freedom 7 – the vehicle which had protected him from the rigours of a launch and high-G acceleration, had kept him alive and well in the most hostile environment ever encountered by humanity and sustained him throughout a […]

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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

'What a Beautiful View': The 15 Minutes of Freedom 7

Alan 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. Eastern time on 5 May 1961, the United […]

Retro Space Images: Hoping for a Launch

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Zooming In: Photographers perched near Complex 17 have Alan Shepard’s Redstone rocket at Complex 5 in their viewfinders. A classic Chevrolet station wagon sits in the foreground. The attempted launch of the first American in space was scrubbed on this morning of May 2, […]