On #ThisDayinHistory 1959, @NASA introduces America’s first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpen ter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Ala n Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton: The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a g roup of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America’s first manned space program. NASA pl anned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961 #AceHistoryDesk

#AceHistoryNews – Apr.09: On October 4, 1957, the USSR scored the first victory in the “space race” when it successfully launched the world’s 1st artificial satellite, Sputnik. In response, the U.S. consolidated its efforts into NASA and in January 1959, the astronaut selection process began with 110 candidates #AceHistoryDesk reports

https://t.me/HistoricalPics/8294 An initial battery of written tests, interviews, and medical history reviews further reduced that number 36. After learning of the extreme physical and mental tests planned for them, four men dropped out: The final 32 candidates underwent exhaustive medical and psychological examinations. The men proved so healthy, however, that only one candidate was eliminated.

The remaining 31 candidates then traveled to the Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, where they underwent the most grueling part of the selection process. For six days and three nights, the men were subjected to tests of their tolerance of physical and psychological stress. Among other tests, the candidates were forced to spend an hour in a pressure chamber that simulated an altitude of 65,000 feet, and two hours in a chamber that was heated to 130°F (54°C). At the end of one week, 18 candidates remained and the selection committee was to choose six based on interviews…………But, seven candidates were so strong they ended up settling on that number. After they were announced, the “Mercury Seven” became overnight celebrities………… Less than one month later, on May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard was successfully launched into space on a suborbital flight and in February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. NASA continued to trail the Soviets in space achievements until NASA’s Apollo program put the first men on the moon. #NASA #Spacerace #history #mercury7 #OTD

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