Project Mercury, which ran from from 1958 through 1963, was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, with its goal being to put a man into Earth's orbit and return him safely—ideally before the Soviet Union was able to do so. The program took its name from Roman mythology, and its astronauts were collectively known as the "Mercury Seven." The astronauts represented in the present sketches include: Malcolm Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon "Gordo" Cooper Jr., John Herschel Glenn Jr., Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, Walter Marty "Wally" Schirra Jr., Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr., Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton.
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