Encyclopedia Astronautica
NASA Group 1 - 1959


Requirement: six pilots for the single-crew Mercury manned spacecraft. Originally a wide pool of candidates was going to be considered, but in December 1958 President Eisenhower ruled that military test pilots would form the candidate pool. Nickname: The Original Seven

AKA: Original Seven.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Glenn Glenn, John Herschel Jr (1921-) American test pilot astronaut, later a politician and US Senator. First American in orbit on his first flight, Mercury MA-6, in 1962, and oldest person in space on his second flight, STS-95, in 1998. More...
  • Schirra Schirra, Walter Marty Jr 'Wally' (1923-2007) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and commander of first manned Apollo mission. Remembered both for practical jokes and uncompromising attention to detail. Flew 90 combat missions in the Korean War. More...
  • Shepard Shepard, Alan Bartlett Jr 'Al' (1923-1998) First American in space. Flew on Mercury MR-3, Apollo 14. Grounded due on medical grounds during Gemini, but reinstated, becoming fifth person to walk on the moon. Millionaire entrepreneur on the side. More...
  • Slayton Slayton, Donald Kent 'Deke' (1924-1993) American test pilot astronaut. Slated to fly third Mercury mission, grounded due to a medical issue and became astronaut commander, assigning crews for lunar landings. Later finally flew on Apollo (ASTP). More...
  • Carpenter Carpenter, Malcolm Scott (1925-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-7, but left NASA under a cloud after running out of propellant on his mission and splashing down 'way down range. More...
  • Grissom Grissom, Virgil Ivan 'Gus' (1926-1967) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MR-4, Gemini 3. Second American in space and first Gemini commander. Flew 100 combat missions in Korea. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1. More...
  • Cooper Cooper, Leroy Gordon Jr 'Gordo' (1927-2004) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-9, Gemini 5. First American to spend over a day in space. High spirited, and reportedly denied an Apollo assignment. More...

See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...

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