On October 14th, 1947 Chuck Yeager was successfully able to pass the sound barrier (flying faster than the speed of sound). He used the X-1 and flew through Mach 1. He did what was thought couldn't be done.
Scott Crossfield passes Mach 2
Scott Crossfield is able to pass through Mach 2 or two times the speed of sound. He beat Yeager's Mach1 and at the time was the fastest by getting to Mach 2.
Chuck Yeager goes Mach 2.44
Chuck Yeager passes Scott Crossfield's Mach 2 and goes Mach 2.44. He was able to beat Scott's Mach 2 record and pushed even farther. He continued to push how fast the aircraft coud go.
Russia launches satellite Sputnik 1
On October 4th, 1957 the Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1 the first satellite into space to orbit the Earth. This would start the space race between the USA and USSR. It was the beginning of many missions to come.
Testing for Astronauts
The US looks for astronauts to start the Mercury program. These tests are very vigorous due to the unkown conditions of space and exploration. Many test and strive to become apart of the Mercury program.
The Mercury 7 are announced
The seven astronauts in the Mercury program are announced. These are Walter Schirra, Donald Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Alan Shepard, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Gordon Cooper. These 7 are pushing space exploration forward.
Rocket Testing begins
Rocket testing begins throughout 1960 to find out what will work in order to get the 7 into space. Some did well, while others did not do as well but, it gave NASA a better understanding.
Ham the monkey is launched into Space
On January 31st, 1961 Pam the chimpanzee is launched into space by the United States. There was controversey on who would go up first between the 7 and Pam. And, Pam went first.
Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space
Yuri Gagarin is the first man launched into space with the USSR. He was able to fly up to space and come back down. This caused the US to want to get up their quickly.
Alan Shepard is the first American in space
On May 5th, 1971 Alan Shepard is the first American to fly in his capsule to space and back. The Mercury Redstone rocket was used for his mission and his capsule was named the Freedom 7. It was a start to the USA's launches.
JFK's famous speech "We choose to go to the moon"
On May 25th, 1961 president John F Kennedy spoke to the American people challenging them to get to the moon by the end of the decade. Many were doubtful. They just got a man in space and now want to get to the moon? It gave Americans a goal to reach and strive to.
Guss Grissom 2nd American in space
On July 21st, 1961 Gus Grissom was the second American to go into space. On the landing back, his hatch blew in the water and his suit was unfloatable. He swam out and made it ok. His capsule was namd the Liberty Bell 7.
John Glenn is the first to orbit the Earth
On February 20th, 1962 John Glenn was the first man to orbit in space. He made a total of three orbits inside his capsule. It lasted 4 hours 55 minutes and 23 seconds.He had to return earlier than expected because of problems with the capsule. He made it back safely in his capsule named the Friendship 7.
Mercury program ends
On May 15th 1963, as Gordo Cooper comes back after his 22 orbits, the Mercury program ends. It was a successful four year program from 1959-1963. The United States was able to gain alot of information about how to get into space and what will get the US to the moon. This started new programs right after such as the Gemini and Apollo. It was an overall successful mission.
"Gordo" Cooper makes 22 orbits
On May 15th 1963, Gordon "Gordo" Cooper was able to make 22 orbits around the Earth. He went into space for a total of 34 hours at the time. He was the last man to go up in the Mercury program. His capsule was named the Faith 7.