Vintage glossy 13 x 10 photo of the original seven Mercury astronauts posing in front of a US Air Force jet, signed above their respective images in various ink types, "M. Scott Carpenter," "Leroy G. Cooper, Jr.," "J. H. Glenn, Jr.," "Virgil I. Grissom," "Walter M. Schirra," "Donald K. Slayton," and "Alan B. Shepard," with an inscription added by Carpenter below reading: "To Terri & Sheri, With Warmest personal Regards—The Mercury Astronauts." Reverse bears an ownership notation. In very good condition, with uniform overall fading, light dampstaining to top edge, scattered creasing, a bit of emulsion loss to extreme right edge, and the Slayton signature a shade light and irregular ink adhesion to the Schirra signature.
Taken at Langley Air Force Base on January 20, 1961, the day of John F. Kennedy's inauguration, this photograph pictures the seven original test pilots chosen from a field of hundreds eager to become America's first astronauts. The inscription of Terri and Sheri refers to the 7-year-old twin daughters of Joe Garino, the physical trainer for the astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Given its association with NASA's longtime fitness trainer, this is a remarkable fully signed photo further enhanced by its cast of early signatures and atypically large size.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.