Encyclopedia Astronautica
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NASA Group 1 - 1959
Requirement: six pilots for the single-crew Mercury manned spacecraft. Originally a wide pool of candidates was going to be considered, but in December 1958 President Eisenhower ruled that military test pilots would form the candidate pool. Nickname: The Original Seven

AKA: Original Seven. Date: 1959.

Subtopics

Glenn American test pilot astronaut 1959-1963 and 1997-1998, later a politician and US Senator. First American in orbit on his first flight, Mercury MA-6, in 1962, and oldest person in space on his second flight, STS-95, in 1998.

Schirra American test pilot astronaut 1959-1969. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and commander of first manned Apollo mission. Remembered both for practical jokes and uncompromising attention to detail. Flew 90 combat missions in the Korean War.

Shepard American test pilot astronaut 1959-1974. First American in space. Grounded on medical grounds during Gemini, but reinstated, becoming fifth person to walk on the moon. Millionaire entrepreneur on the side.

Slayton American test pilot astronaut 1959-1982.

Carpenter American test pilot astronaut 1959-1967.

Grissom American test pilot astronaut 1959-1967. Second American in space and first Gemini commander. Flew 100 combat missions in Korea. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1.

Cooper American test pilot astronaut 1959-1970. First American to spend over a day in space. High spirited, and reportedly denied an Apollo assignment.

Family: Astronaut.

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