Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery Answer

Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery Answer

Article excerpt

The Mercury Seven astronauts included one Marine Corps pilot (John Glenn), three Navy pilots (Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard), and three Air Force pilots. The three Air Force pilots were Gordon "Gordo" Cooper, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Donald "Deke" Slayton.

Donald "Deke" Slayton never flew in a Mercury space craft. Originally scheduled to be the second Mercury astronaut to fly, Slayton was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm which kept him grounded through both the Mercury and Gemini programs. Slayton would fly be medically cleared to fly in the 1970s and flew as part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

Virgil "Gus" Grissom was the first Air Force pilot and second member of the Mercury Seven to fly. Grissom and the Liberty Bell 7 reached an altitude above 102 nautical miles and it flew 262.5 nautical miles downrange. Liberty Bell 7 is on display at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas. Grissom would go on fly on the first Gemini flight (Gemini 1). Tragically he died during a fire on the launch pad as a member of Apollo 1. …

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