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The original seven Mercury astronauts pose in their silver spacesuits in this 1961 file photo. From left, first row: Walter Schirra Jr., Donald Slayton, John Glenn and Scott Carpenter. Back Row: Alan Shepard, Jr., Virgil Grissom and Gordon Cooper. It was on April 9, 1959 at a press conference in Washington D.C. that the Mercury Seven astronauts were first introduced to the world.

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