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The Baltimore Sun

Mercury Launch 50th Anniversary

Mercury Astronauts whose selection was announced on April 9, 1959, only six months after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formally established on October 1, 1958. They are: front row, left to right, Walter H. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and M. Scott Carpenter; back row, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. 'Gus' Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper.Orlando Sentinel Files/NASA