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Who were the original Mercury Seven? First NASA astronauts included John Glenn, Alan Shepard

It has been 59 years since seven men appeared to the world as the first class of NASA astronauts. The men, called the Original Seven, became nocturnal sensations in the United States.

Later they became known as Mercury Seven for the Mercury Project, the program in charge of sending the first Americans into space to orbit the Earth, according to NASA.

The process of electing the seven men took months. First, doctors, pilots and engineers reviewed a group of more than 500 candidates and reduced the group to 110 candidates. That group of men was revised even more and only 32 of them advanced in the process, according to NASA.


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