By 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had been created. On January 1959, from their headquarters in Washington D.C., NASA announced that seven young Americans had been selected to become the first United States astronauts. The Mercury Project, man-in-space, had begun.
For the first astronauts, the training was unprecedented. They had to possess exceptional qualifications, both physical and mental. They all had experience in conventional aircraft, and each was dedicated to the idea of space flight. One problem was trying to determine the effects on the body from weightlessness. Another problem was that of the space-craft. The launch and return was much more complicated than an unmanned vehicle, there was no room for error.
The Motts Military Museum contains many personal items from the space program. This includes, several personal items from Astronaut Ellison Onizuka, killed in the Challenger Shuttle accident of 1986. Ellison’s personal items document his friendship with Director Warren Motts. We also have many unique items from other space missions including, the actual Lunar Module logbook from Apollo 13.