Jupiter51.com, samm's place in the universe
Home Science Fiction Links Email

The Early Years
The Mercury Program
Mercury 3
Mercury 4
Mercury 6
Mercury 7
Mercury 8
Mercury 9
The Gemini Program
The Apollo Program

The Shuttle Program
Program Info
Orbiter Info
Mission Info

The Space Station
Dog Crews


The Mercury Program
1961 - 1963

Project Mercury patch

The Mercury Program began in 1961 and marked the United States entry into the space race. There were three clearly stated objectives for the Mercury missions:

Orbit a human being around Earth.
Test how humans function in space.
Recover the person and spacecraft safely.

Officially, the Mercury Program began in 1958, shortly after the formation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It began with a number of unpiloted test flights and culminated with six piloted missions between 1961 and 1963. The Mercury program taught us how to reach, work in, and return from space.

NASA chose 7 pilots to be their new astronauts. These are the Mercury 7 Astronauts; Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton. Slayton finally got into space "only thirteen years overdue" with the flight of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July, 1975.

Project Mercury Missile
Photo compliments of
Nanda's Space & Beyond

PHOTO: Mercury Rocket A Mercury Rocket on display at Kennedy Space Center. Used with permission from Nanda's Space & Beyond.

Space is our Future!