Mercury 7 Astronauts

I was only 5 years old when the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard was launched into a sub orbital flight in 1961. But even at that young age I became captivated by the thought of space travel and I developed a life-long passion for all things related to exploring our universe. Whether it was following actual events as they developed or reading science fiction, I was hooked on the concept of people traveling to other planets some day. So many technological advances have happened since that first flight it’s hard to believe how far we have come in just my lifetime. Orbital telescopes that look deep into the universe, probes that have explored many of the planets in our solar system up close and even rovers that have explored the surface of planets like Mars and sent back actual hard data. Turns out they’re finding water in all kinds of places.


The first manned spaceflights of the Mercury program ran from May 1961 to May 1963. The seven original American astronauts were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.