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The Mercury 7 astronauts and Bob Gilruth examine an astronaut couch, which was molded to fit each of their bodies to protect them from the G-loads of launch.

Gilruth and Mercury 7

The Mercury 7 astronauts examine their “couches.” Each astronaut's couch was molded to fit his body to help withstand the G-loads of the launch. Plaster casts of the astronauts were created in order to properly mold the couches. Left to right are Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, and Bob Gilruth. Gilruth was director of the Space Task Group, which planned and managed the Mercury Project. (28 September 1959)

Image Credit: NASA