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NASA AND THE F-106

Lewis [Glenn] Research Center, Cleveland OH

Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA

Langley Research Center, Hampton VA

Mercury 7 Astronauts

Seven Original Mercury astronauts trained at NASA Langley Research Center. They are standing here in front of F-106B 58-0158 on 20 Jan 1961 [Date on photo is in error, read below...]. While familiarizing the astronauts with the Mercury set-up, Langley employees helped them to specialize in the technical areas crucial to the overall success of Project Mercury.  Langley people also guided and monitored the astronauts activities through the many spaceflight simulators and other training devices built at the Center expressly for the manned space program.

Photo Date Discrepancy [Updated 16 April 2002]
The photo indicates 1971, but as Charlie Gindhart pointed out, knowing 58-0158 was not at Langley during that time, he sent an e-mail to the NASA Langley Research Center inquiring. The real date was uncovered to be 1961 thus a typo. Read below that the center will be changing the photo caption to reflect the real date so any photos you see with 1961 was a dircet result of Charles' actions. Some give-aways this could not have been in 1971? 1) Gus Grissom was killed on 27 January 1967 along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a training exercise and pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at the Kennedy Space Center. 2) Glenn, Schirra, Cooper and Carpenter had already left NASA by 1971. 3) Buzz numbers were not used in 1971 as is painted on the fuselage of 158 here.

Alicia V. Tarrant, NASA JSC, writes about the photo date error:
"My JSC contact has indeed confirmed that S61-01250 (aka L71-2971 and EL-1996-00090) was photographed on 01/20/61.  It was originally photographed here at Langley by JSC people and the photo was taken back to Houston.  We received a copy negative from them in 1971 of this photo and I guess that is where the 1971 date came from.  My thanks to Mr. Gindhart for finding the error so that I can correct it.  I will be editing STILAS and LISAR soon.  The new caption will read: The original seven Mercury astronauts standing beside a Convair F106-B aircraft. They are, left to right, M. Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, Walter M. Schirra Jr., Alan B. Shepard Jr., and Donald K. Slayton. Photographed on 01/21/1961 at Langley Air Force Base.  Thanks,  Alicia V. Tarrant, NASA JSC"

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TEASER PHOTOS... Complete GALLERY HERE
Complete GALLERY HERE