Published on Show Me Mizzou Sept. 4, 2023
“Project Mercury today may seem like distant history, reflected by an era of magazine covers, newspaper clippings, and black-and-white newsreels, but from 1959 to 1963 it captured the imagination, pride, and hope of the American people,” writes John Bisney, BJ ’76, in the introduction to Photographing America’s First Astronauts, a new book highlighting the work of Bill Taub, NASA’s first photographer. Co-authored by J.L. Pickering, the 312-page book (Purdue University Press) is dense with hundreds of photographs that document the Mercury missions to the moon and the astronauts who crammed into rockets designed to withstand the fury of fiery fuel propelling them into outer space.
The photograph above features Alan Shepard and John Glenn in the suit room at Hangar S in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Now retired, after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism, Bisney covered the U.S. space program for more than three decades. He did so for outlets including CNN Radio, the Discovery Science Channel and Sirius XM. This is Bisney’s fifth space-photography book with Pickering.
To read more articles like this, become a Mizzou Alumni Association member and receive MIZZOU magazine in your mailbox. Click here to join.