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Multiple Reasons for “Faith 7” Name

May 15, 1963 - Major Gordon Cooper, assigned to spend more time in space than any other American to date, christened his space vehicle “Faith 7” for a variety of reasons. The numeral, of course, is for the seven original Mercury astronauts. Major Cooper, according to NASA, chose “Faith” because it embodied his belief in God and country, his loyalty toward the Mercury team and his confidence in it, and belief in the manned space effort. The five previous capsules were Comdr. Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7, Capt. Virgil Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7, Lieut. Col. John Glenn’s Friendship 7, Lieut. Comdr. Scott Carpenter’s Aurora 7, and Comdr. Walter Schirra’s Sigma 7. Only Liberty Bell 7 was not recovered. It sank to the bottom of the Atlantic after Captain Grissom returned successfully from his suborbital flight.

 

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