Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Project Mercury

  • Wally Funk of the ‘Mercury 13’ to finally fly into space next week

    Theresa CrossJuly 13th, 2021

    On July 1, 2021, Blue Origin announced that Wally Funk, a member of the “Mercury 13," would fly into space atop the company’s suborbital New Shepard rocket.

  • Light this candle! The 60th anniversary of the first American in space

    Matt HaskellMay 5th, 2021

    Sixty years ago today, on May 5, 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard rocketed to space in his Mercury capsule to become the first American and the second human in space.

  • Comedian Bill Dana, creator of ‘José Jiménez,’ dead at 92

    Bart LeahyJune 20th, 2017

    Comedian and comedy writer Bill Dana, who became famous through his “José Jiménez” character in the 1950s and 1960s, died June 15 at the age of 92. The Jiménez character, a stereotyped cowardly astronaut, was a favorite performer with television audiences and with the “Original Seven” Mercury astronauts.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: NASA turns 58

    Collin SkocikOctober 1st, 2016

    In 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a new civilian agency. NASA was a reorganization of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), formed on March 3, 1915, in response to European superiority in aircraft technology. NACA officially turned its operations over to NASA Oct. 1, 1958, and the Space Race was born.

  • Authors discuss Spaceshots & Snapshots of Projects Mercury & Gemini

    Jason RhianJune 13th, 2015

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — J.L. Pickering and John Bisney have been interested in the space program since the massive Saturn V booster was causing windows to tremble along Florida’s Space Coast decades ago. Pickering has been an avid professional collector of space photos – for nearly that same amount of time. The duo have partnered to […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Carpenter’s run – the flight of Aurora 7

    Jason RhianMay 24th, 2015

    On this date in spaceflight History – May 24, 1962 – another milestone in the U.S. space program took to the skies. M. (Malcolm) Scott Carpenter, one of NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts, lifted off at  7:45 a.m. EST (1145 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 14. Carpenter’s flight, while only lasting for four […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Faith 7 – Saving the best for last

    Jason RhianMay 15th, 2015

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — On this date in spaceflight history, May 15, 1963, the final flight of NASA’s Project Mercury got underway with a successful liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 14 in Florida. Officially named Mercury-Atlas 9, Mercury 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper, a major in the U.S. Air Force, rode the […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The flight of Freedom 7 fifty four years ago

    Gregory CecilMay 5th, 2015

    Fifty four years ago today, Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space flying aboard the Mercury capsule Freedom 7. Shepard and his ship lifted off atop a Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 5 and followed by a successful splashdown in the Atlantic after a flight lasting just over […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Virgil I. ‘Gus’ Grissom – After Shepard, before Glenn

    Jason RhianApril 3rd, 2015

    On April 3, 1926, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom – one of the original “7” Mercury astronauts – was born. Unlike Alan Shepard, who became the United States’ first astronaut in space, or John Glenn, the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, Grissom straddled the divide between the former’s suborbital hop and the latter’s three orbits. Grissom’s legacy […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: John Glenn orbits the Earth

    SpaceFlight InsiderFebruary 20th, 2015

    On Feb. 20, 1962, NASA launched one of the most important flights in U.S. history. This mission would pave the way for the nation’s future space exploration efforts. The pilot of this historic flight, John Glenn, became a national hero and a symbol of American ambition as he was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth. […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: America leaps into space

    Heather SmithMay 5th, 2014

    On this day in 1961, America took its first step toward launching humans into space. Showing tremendous bravery a single astronaut, one of the original Mercury seven astronauts looked toward the sky and told the launch control team that it was time to: “Light this candle…”

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: First Manned Spaceflight

    NASAApril 12th, 2014

    On this day in 1961, a Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, became the first person in space. Gagarin made a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. The date of April 12 was already a huge day in terms of space history because of this. Some twenty years later, this date would be underlined in terms of […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The Chosen 7

    NASAApril 9th, 2014

    On this day in 1959, seven men were introduced at a press conference as the first group of astronauts for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

  • Friendship 7: February 20, 1962 – “Exploring Legends” interview with John Glenn

    SpaceFlight InsiderFebruary 20th, 2014

    On February 20, 1962, John Glenn boarded the Mercury Program’s Friendship 7 spacecraft to become the first American to orbit the Earth. To commemorate the 52nd anniversary of that event, The Spaceflight Group’s Social Media Director, Stacey Severn, shares her blog article about a memorable interview with Senator Glenn in New York City last spring

  • NASA’s Tektite II undersea habitat: An interview with aquanaut & engineer Peggy Lucas Bond

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 9th, 2013

    Tektite was the name given to an undersea project funded by NASA from 1969-70. Tektites are impact glasses formed by large meteorite impacts, and the Tektite habitat was named after these shiny fused bits of material that were seen at the bottom of the ocean. The habitat was located off the coast of St. John, in the […]