SPACE HISTORY: NASA Introduced Mercury Astronauts to Adoring Nation in April 1959
By Space Coast Daily // April 16, 2023
seven volunteers became american icons
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The anticipation had been building, and in April 1959, NASA publicly introduced the Mercury Astronaut Team.
“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please. The rules for this briefing are very simple. In about 60 seconds we will give you the announcement that you have all been waiting for: the names of the seven volunteers who will become the Mercury Astronaut Team.”
“It is my pleasure to introduce to you and I consider it a very real honor, gentlemen, from your right, Malcolm S. Carpenter; Leroy G. Cooper; John H. Glenn, Jr.; Virgil I. Grissom; Walter M. Schirra, Jr.; Alan B. Shepard, Jr.; and Donald K. Slayton, are the nation’s Mercury astronauts.”
These men were soon to become household names and genuine heroes.
The Mercury flights proved that humans could live and work in space, and paved the way for the Gemini and Apollo programs as well as for all further human spaceflight.
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