December 3, 2012
MERCURY 7 ASTRONAUTS POSED FOR GROUP PHOTO 50 YEARS AGO!
Akron, Ohio (JFK+50) On December 3, 1962, 50 years ago to the day, seven American astronauts posed for a group photograph dressed in their space suits here at the headquarters of B.F. Goodrich Corporation located in Akron, Ohio.*
B.F. Goodrich, no longer in existence, was the manufacturer of the space suits worn by the so called ‘Mercury 7’ & other American astronauts.
Each space suit weighed 20 pounds & was composed of 1600 individual pieces.
According to the John F. Kennedy Library, this “was the only occasion that all 7 appeared together in the suits.”
The requirements for acceptance in the astronaut program included…
*under 40 years of age
*undergraduate college degree
*maximum of 5’11” in height
*maximum of 180 pounds in weight
*1500 flying hours
*qualified to fly jet aircraft
All 7 of the original Mercury astronauts were rated with IQs at the genius level & members from the group would be represented in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo & Shuttle programs.
All 7 were military men. 3 from the USAF, 3 from the US NAVY & 1 from the USMC.
They were selected on April 9, 1959 & were introduced publicly the following day.
The ‘Mercury 7’ included:
Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
Donald K. “Deke” Slayton
John H. Glenn, Jr.
M. Scott Carpenter
Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom
L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.**
*The photo caption from the JFK Library says that the photo was made at B.F. Goodrich. JFK+50 is assuming the pic was made at the corporate HQ in Akron. Please let us know if you have information that contradicts this.
**The astronauts are positioned in the photograph as follows. 1st 4 in Row 1 L to R, last 3 in Row 2 L to R.