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Mercury Project

Project Mercury placed the first American astronauts in space, in the 1960s. The project’s objectives were to successfully place a manned spacecraft in orbit, investigate an astronaut’s performance capabilities and his ability to function in the environment of space, and recover the man and the spacecraft safely. The project successfully launched six astronauts into space, beginning with Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961.

Featured Images

John Glenn enters his Mercury capsule (right), and launches on February 20, 1962

Up, Up, and Away! February 20, 2012

Alan Shepard enters his capsule, then launches aboard Freedom 7, May 5, 1961

A-OK Flight May 5, 2011