This Project Mercury commemorative medal was struck by the Vienna Mint. Project Mercury was NASA's first human spaceflight program. Alan Shepard, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, John Glenn, and M. Scott Carpenter were the first four astronauts to fly in the program. Alan Shepard was the first American in space in a suborbital flight in May 1961, and Gus Grissom was the second in another suborbital flight in July 1961. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962, and Scott Carpenter was the second in May 1962.
Space medal collector Thomas Becker donated this medal to the National Collectioin in 1972.
Gift of Thomas Becker