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🚨Astronaut Cooper Thunders into Orbit

May 15, 1963 - Astronaut Gordon Cooper thundered into orbit this morning at 9:04 a.m. in a flawless launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch was so perfect it astounded the engineers who planned it, and Cooper adapted himself so quickly to the weightless space environment it appeared almost inevitable that his Mercury capsule, Faith 7, would succeed in circling the earth 22 times. All systems were “go” from the moment that fire burst from the tail of the Atlas rocket before a national television audience. The launch hurled Faith 7 into the most accurate orbit yet attained by an American astronaut. “You’re right smack dab in the middle of the plot,” Commander Walter Schirra radioed his colleague overhead. “You’ve got a real sweet trajectory, Gordo.” “What a feeling! Boy oh boy,” Major Cooper exclaimed into his radio. “Great sport, isn’t it?” Commander Schirra asked his colleague. “Yeah,” came the reply. Flight physicians closely watching the astronaut’s physical and psychological reactions said they were receiving the best physiological telemetry obtained so far from an orbiting capsule and added that Cooper apparently was in extremely good condition as he streaked around the earth — “poised, alert, and confident.”


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