An alternate take of the famous Mercury Seven spacesuit shot. The biggest differences between this one and the famous version are probably the expressions of Alan Shepard (back row, left) and John Glenn (front row, second from left).
These group shots are rare and very valuable: According to many space historians, only one picture exists of the Original 7 in their spacesuits together. The above photo - and several more that I'll be posting in the near future - prove them wrong.
Front row, L-R: Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordo Cooper.
This week's Photoset Friday is a gem. Shot by Thomas McAvoy in 1946, it is entitled "German Scientist, El Paso." It follows around the Operation Paperclip rocket scientists from Germany and chronicles their new life in America. Among other things, they bowl and eat in the cafeteria.
And of course, there is the titular German scientist, pictured above. Can you guess who he is?
NASA Public Affairs Officer Shorty Powers investigates the Friendship 7 spacecraft at Grand Turk Island, February 1962. The spacecraft - along with its pilot, John Glenn - had just flown the first manned American orbital mission.
John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, hamming it up after a press conference in 1961.
The LIFE caption is vague, but I believe this was the press conference that announced Glenn as the pilot of MA-5, with Carpenter as his backup.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)
Today I'm starting a new Friday tradition called Photoset Friday, in which I showcase a particular photoset from the LIFE archives. This one contains pictures of Jerri Cobb, one of the famed "Mercury 13" members. These were taken in 1960 by photographer Ralph Crane.
Even though she's nearly thirty in these pictures, the photoset is entitled "Girl Astronaut." Stay classy, LIFE.
Sorry everyone, Blogger was down last night. Here's a photo of pad leader Guenter Wendt emerging from the Holiday Inn pool, soaking wet, after being thrown in during a post-Freedom 7 celebration party in May 1961.
Gag photo of the second group of astronauts, 1962. That's Life photographer Ralph Morse in the back, next to Frank Borman. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the gentleman sitting on Jim McDivitt's lap; if you do, let us know.
Starting from the top left and going counter-clockwise: Neil Armstrong, Ed White, Elliot See, Jim Lovell, unknown, Jim McDivitt, Pete Conrad, Tom Stafford, John Young, Frank Borman, Ralph Morse.
Starting today, and continuing until December 31st, I'm going to post one photo a day from the LIFE magazine space archive.
Two years ago, LIFE magazine published their photo archive - and their countless unpublished pictures from the space program - onto Google Images. Unfortunately, the archive is poorly organized and difficult to navigate. I want to display some of LIFE's incredible photos, as well as provide access to some of the harder-to-find pictures.
Why am I doing this? I love the space program and space history, and I think it's important to keep these pictures available. Also, since space aficiandoes frequently see the same pictures over and over again, I want to show some of the rarer photos. I don't care who you are; I promise that you've never seen some of these pictures before.
Also, this blog is not affiliated with LIFE magazine in any way. I figured you knew that, but I just wanted to make that clear.
This site is a works in progress, so be patient with me. (And feel free to give me feedback!)