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Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967), (Lt Col, USAF), better known as Gus Grissom, was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom "If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." - Gus Grissom, after the Gemini 3 mission, March 1965 Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was a United States Air Force pilot and one of the original Mercury 7 NASA astronauts. A native of Mitchell, Indiana, he was the second American to fly in space.

Astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom, the second American to fly into space, shown strapped in a centrifuge during a simulated space flight, 1959. Lieutenant Col. Grissom was killed, along with fellow astronauts Roger Chaffee and Ed White, in a launch pad fire while training for the Apollo 1 mission in January 1967.

Richard Harrison Truly (born November 12, 1937) is a retired Vice Admiral in the United States Navy, a former fighter pilot, former astronaut for both the United States Air Force and NASA, and was the eighth Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1989 to 1992. He was the first former astronaut to head the space agency.

NASA selected Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper in 1959 as one of the 7 astronauts for their Mercury Project. In 1 1/2 days, the Faith 7 spacecraft orbited the Earth 22 times. (photo: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection)

Gus Grissom's space suit, near Mitchell, Lawrence County. There's a museum dedicated to the Hoosier astronaut at Spring Mill State Park.

NASA's MESSENGER Satellite Captures Spectacular Color Mosaic of Mercury by NASA Goddard Photo and Video, via Flickr

Mercury Spacecraft, designed and built by McDonnell, St. Louis for NASA. Signed by the six astronauts who flew in the Mercury program: Alan B Shepard, Gus Grissom, J H Glenn, Jr., Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper.

NASA's Messenger Satellite Captures Spectacular Color Mosaic of Mercury

Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese American woman to fly for the United States military.

"Gus" Grissom (1926 - 1967) One of the orginial Mercury 7 astronauts, he died in a fire on the launch pad while strapped into the Apollo 1 capsule for a test

On this Day in History, April 9, 1959: NASA introduced America’s first astronauts who became known as the Original Seven (pictured) and were chosen for the country’s first space program "Project Mercury"