This week, NASA launched a flickr account with less than two hundred of the larger body of photos that comprise NASA Images. According to NASA, the account will “reach an even wider audience and invite that audience to help tell the story of these photos by adding tags, or keywords, to the images to identify objects and people.”
The above photo is of John Glenn preparing for the Mercury Mission where he orbited the earth in the spacecraft Friendship 7. Glenn became the third person and first American to orbit the Earth in February of 1962 and went on to become a United States Senator for Ohio. The Space Suit Glenn wears in the above photos is a Mercury Space Suit and is large based on suits worn by Air Force pilots flying at high altitudes. The suit is not continually pressurized, but instead is a safeguard against a loss of pressure aboard the Friendship 7. The suit also protected Glenn from the immense heat experienced upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. You may notice that he appears to be carrying a suitcase with a tube coming out of it: that’s actually an air conditioner. Another tube runs to his helmet and provides a fresh supply of air.
I’m not sure why the window of the Friendship 7 craft appears to be held in place by red duct tape. However, here’s an article about the lady who painted “Friendship 7” on the side.