Seven astronauts were selected from among over 100 men examined at Wright Air Development Center at Dayton, Ohio and also Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At that moment, nobody actually understood how to pick and then train astronauts. The research process was strict but quickly centered on army test pilots. Langley engineer Charles Donlan and evaluation pilot Robert Champine played significant roles at the screening and selection procedure.
The seven astronauts have been shipped to NASA Lang-ley to start their instruction for spaceflight. Langley engineers who have knowledge from reentry astronomy, physics, and celestial navigation and mechanics taught the astronauts in grad degree space sciences classes. Subsequently every astronaut was delegated to a certain technical area to get additional training. Cooper and Slayton maintained a liaison with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (afterwards Marshall Space Flight Center) and launch auto providers; Carpenter technical in navigation and communications equipment; Glenn concentrated on cockpit design; Grissom handled unmanned management methods; Schirra’s specialization has been life-support systems and stress lawsuits; and Shepard focused on monitoring range and retrieval systems.
The STG team set the astronauts through numerous spaceflight simulation programs and methods to familiarize them using the Mercury capsule and rate their efficacy with the capsule management systems. This simulator features a very simple seat with sidearm control along with rudder pedals and was later refitted using a three-axis control plus a molded sofa separately made for each astronaut.
The practice in Langley also contained a routine of physical exercise and also scuba-diving processes created to simulate weightlessness and the varieties of sensory disorientation they may undergo during reentry from space. Back in Langley’s big hydrodynamics tank and at the Back River supporting the Langley East Area, the Mercury astronauts also discovered how to escape the area capsule as it drifted in the water.
Project Mercury Director Due NASA Langley because of its Job Work Project Mercury finished in the summer of 1963 following four effective orbital flights. The STG finished its move into the Manned Spacecraft Center at Houston, Texas, also NASA and the country geared up to the Gemini and Apollo programs.
Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, leader of Project Mercury in Langley, composed to NASA Langley manager Floyd Thompson: “It’s fitting that the Manned Spacecraft Center convey its sincere appreciation to the Langley Research Center to its invaluable contributions which the Center has performed in our first manned space flight application. The Manned Spacecraft Center owes considerably to Langley, because … Langley was its birthplace.”
Particular gifts that NASA Langley created to Project Mercury comprised aid from the Large Joe application; execution of this Little Joe application; the preparation and carrying from the Mercury tracking and ground instrumentation program; many aerodynamic, structural materials and element evaluation and advancement tests; technology, store instrumentation and logistic service for a lot of the Space Task Group onscreen testing; and lastly, administrative assistance and office area from late 1958 into mid-1962 if the STG transferred to Houston. Gilruth wrote, “Since you may see, all portions of this Langley Center provided important aid to Project Mercury, and we’re profoundly thankful for this support.”