NASA’s image of the day today remembers the day 56 years ago today when seven men were identified who would get into a small can atop a bomb and try to go as far as they could just to see what would happen.
Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, Deke Slayton and John Glenn were the “Mercury 7,” the original NASA astronauts.
As for the seven, only Glenn — the first American to orbit the earth — is still alive. He’ll be 94 in July.
He had good looks, a political resume from the U.S. Senate, a military career, and was a national hero. And he still couldn’t beat Walter Mondale for the 1984 Democratic nomination to run for president.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started the two most popular blogs in the history of MPR and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
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