40th anniversary of the mercury 7

Photo Gallery
Related Links


October 1, 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) created
October 7, 1958 NASA formally organized its first "man-in-space program"
November 26, 1958 "Man-in-space program" dubbed "Project Mercury"
December 1958 NASA's selection committee decides the candidate pool for astronaut selection will be from military test pilots
December 4, 1959 Launch of Sam (a monkey) on Little Joe 2
January 1959 Service records screened of 508 candidates
February 1959 Candidates pared to 110 men
March 1959 More testing of candidates, pool winnowed to 32 men.
Late March 1959 Eighteen men recommended without medical reservation
January 31, 1961 Launch of Ham (a chimpanzee) on Mercury Redstone 2
April 1, 1959 Selection committee decides on Mercury Seven
April 9, 1959 NASA introduces Carpenter, Cooper, Glenn, Grissom, Schirra, Shepard, and Slayton to the world at press conference
January 21, 1960 Launch of Miss Sam (a monkey) on Little Joe IB
May 5, 1961 Launch of Alan Shepard in Freedom 7, first American human suborbital flight
July 21, 1961 Launch of Gus Grissom in Liberty 7, second American human suborbital flight
November 29, 1961 Launch of Enos (a chimpanzee) on Mercury Atlas 5, an orbital flight
January 3, 1962 Project Gemini formally conceived
February 20, 1962 Launch of John Glenn in Friendship 7, first American human orbital flight
May 24, 1962 Launch of Scott Carpenter in Aurora 7
October 3, 1962 Launch of Walter Schirra in Sigma 7
May 15, 1963 Launch of Gordon Cooper in Faith 7, the final mission of Project Mercury