April 1959 – The Mercury Seven are chosen by NASA

The Mercury Seven was the name given to the first group of NASA astronauts in April 1959. Wikipedia says, “This was the only astronaut group with members that flew on all classes of NASA manned spacecraft of the 20th century, from Mercury, through Gemini and Apollo, and ending with John Glenn’s flight on the STS-95 Space Shuttle mission.”

The group included: (Back row, L-R: Shepard, Grissom, Cooper; Front row, L-R: Schirra, Slayton, Glenn, Carpenter).

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Quotes:

Dee O’Hara, the official Nurse for the Mercury Seven (edited)

“They were a hell of a group. They were the cream of the crop. They were thhe best America had to offer. You’ve got to hand it to these guys; they put their backsides on the line because it was such a new program – new everything – and they stepped up to the plate and did it. Those first seven led the way. They really are the true pioneers, if you will, of the space age. They are national treasures.”
– Quoted in Into that Silent Sea (p. 41).

Recommended Reading:

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~ by tellinghistory on April 1, 2008.

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