Less than a year after its birth, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency announced its first astronaut class, the Mercury Seven, on April 9, 1959. Project Mercury proved that humans could live and work in space, paving the way for all future human exploration.
This cutaway drawing of the Mercury capsule was used by the Space Task Group at the first NASA inspection, on Oct. 24, 1959.
I know that being an astronaut is nowhere near as glamorous as it sounds, but I have to say, this capsule looks particularly grim and unappealing. The first men and women who ventured into space were a very special and intrepid breed (as are modern day astronauts), but this just goes to remind me how unsuited I would be to this kind of work! Give me a laptop and a cup of coffee any day!