NASA selected Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper in 1959 as one of the 7 astronauts for their Mercury Project. In 1 1/2 days, the Faith 7 spacecraft orbited the Earth 22 times. (photo: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection)
NASA Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr. emerging from the Gemini 11 space capsule Atlantic Ocean landing September 15, 1966. Gemini 11 was the ninth crewed Earth-orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini series, carrying astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. and Richard Gordon.