Ralph Morse (American, 1917-2014)
The original seven Mercury astronauts, Langley Air Force Base, July 1960. NASA HQ caption on the verso. Vintage gelatin silver print, image size 9 x 6 3/4 in. (22.8 x 17.0 cm), unmatted.
Condition: Minor wear at corners of sheet.
N.B. On April 9, 1959, NASA introduced its first astronaut class, the Mercury 7. This famous photograph of the astronauts wearing their new Mercury spacesuits was made by long-time Life photographer Ralph Morse, a man who spent so much time with the Mercury Seven (and with the Gemini and Apollo crews as well) that John Glenn himself fondly dubbed him 'the eighth astronaut' (Ben Cosgrove, Time magazine, http://time.com/3879356/mercury-seven-photos-of-nasa-astronauts-in-training/). Front row, left to right: Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and M. Scott Carpenter; back row, left to right: Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.
Literature: Reynolds, pp. 38-39.
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