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Paul L. Gleiser | all galleries >> Working the Apollo 40th Anniversary Story > 0709d-0715-0102.jpg
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July 2009 Paul L. Gleiser


Launch Complex 14 - Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral lies in ruins. But a stainless steel monument sits at the entrance to the complex to memorialize the Mercury manned space program. Beneath the monument sits a time capsule containing technical documents pertaining to Project Mercury. It is to be opened in 2464, 500 years following the conclusion of the program. The number 7 figures prominently in Project Mercury. The names and call signs attached to the six manned Mercury flights always included the number seven. Examples include "Freedom 7", used as the call sign for the first manned Mercury flight that carried Alan Shepard on a sub-orbital trajectory and "Friendship 7" that carried John Glenn on the first American manned orbital flight. The number seven derived from the fact that that NASA chose a group of seven men, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton, as the first astronaut corps.

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