Category Archives: Space History

The Myth Of The “Mercury 13”

Jim Oberg debunks it:

In late 1958, as NASA begin defining how to select astronauts, President Eisenhower directed that test pilots be the pool from which candidates were selected. The actual flight experience of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions in hindsight validated that standard. Because of the intimate integration of the pilot in the spacecraft

Another Of The Seven Gone?

I’m hearing rumors that Wally Schirra died last night.

[Update a couple minutes later]

OK, apparently Keith heard it on CNN as well.

So, Grissom, Slayton, Schirra, Shepard are gone. Besides Glenn, who’s still with us?


OK, Cooper is dead, so it’s just Glenn and Carpenter. They could hold a reunion in a phone booth. And I see that Wikipedia has already updated the Mercury 7 page to reflect Schirra’s passing.

[Update at 12:30 PM EDT]

Here’s the obit from CNN.

Hadn’t thought about that, but it’s true, he was the only astronaut to fly Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.