Gus Grissom was an American astronaut. He was a mechanical engineer, and a United States test pilot. He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA‘s Project Mercury in April 1959. After Alan Shepherd, Gus was the second American in space.
He was born on April 3, 1926, in Mitchell, Indiana to Dennis David Grissom and Cecile King Grissom. He was their second child out of five. In September 1946, he enrolled at Purdue University for a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Quick Facts: –
- In 1951, Gus Grissom was deployed to Korea with the 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron to complete 100 flying missions.
- He went to space for the first time aboard the Liberty Bell 7 which was launched on July 21, 1961.
- It was the second American manned suborbital flight and it lasted only 15 minutes and 37 seconds.
- The spacecraft had a controversial landing after completing the mission almost drowning Grissom but he waslater rescued.
- While serving the U.S. Air Force, he flew approximately 100 missions and received the Air Medal with cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
- On March 23, 1965, he got a chance to orbit earth three times as the Commander of Gemini III.
- He died on January 27, 1967 along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a test flight for the Apollo 1 mission.
- He was the first of the seven crew members of Project Mercury to die.