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Mercury Liftoff

Photo: Mercury rocket lifting off
Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter lifts off from Cape Canaveral on May 24, 1962, in his Aurora 7 capsule. Because of the capsules' small size, some joked that they were not so much ridden as worn. The fourth American in space and second American to orbit Earth, Carpenter spent nearly five hours testing equipment and taking photographs before splashing down.
Photograph courtesy NASA

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