In order to better withstand the high "G" loads of launch and reentry, each astronaut in Project Mercury, the first U.S. human spaceflight program, had form-fitting fiberglass couches cast for his body. This couch was used in the Mercury Procedures Trainer, a simulator, by Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, who was scheduled to fly the second orbital flight (Mercury Atlas-7) in spring 1962. Because of a heart murmur, NASA doctors did not allow Slayton to make this flight, which was flown by M. Scott Carpenter instead. Slayton did not fly in space until the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight of 1975.
Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), the simulator contractor, transferred this artifact to the National Air and Space Museum on behalf of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) in 1967.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration