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Alan Shepard: 1st American in Space

Mercury Astronauts Face the Press

Mercury Astronauts Face the Press

Six of the seven Mercury Project astronauts (including Alan Shepard, clowning) in February, 1961. President Eisenhower insisted the first Americans in space be test pilots with college degrees. The original Mercury Seven were: Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, Donald "Deke" Slayton, John Glenn, and Scott Carpenter.

In this photo: Walter M. Schirra, Alan B. Shepard, Malcolm S. Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Donald K. Slayton

Photo: Ralph Morse./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Feb 01, 1961