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Mercury Project

Dr. Wernher von Braun, Director of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency's (ABMA) Development Operations Division, poses with the original Mercury astronauts in ABMA's Fabrication Laboratory during a 1959 visit. Inspecting Mercury-Redstone hardware are from left to right, Alan Shepard, Donald Deke Slayton, Virgil Gus Grissom, von Braun, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, John Glenn, and Scott Carpenter. Project Mercury officially began October 7, 1958 as the United States' first manned space program.