Skip to Main Content
UCF Libraries Home

AMH 4376 - U.S. Space History


With The Astronaut Wives Club you will have a reasonable understanding of Project Mercury from an internal perspective. Let's examine one of the Mercury Missions.

You will need to conduct research in Time, Life, Look, US News & World Report, and other popular magazines from the era are fine for the assignment.

You will also need to view several of the official NASA videos that can be found here at this NASA site (Links to an external site.). First - select any of the MANNED Mercury missions. Second - Post your selected mission of the announcement board. There are 6 Mercury manned missions - each mission selection is limited to eight. Once eight of you have selected a mission it is closed. If you do not clear by the date posted on the discussion board - expect points to be deducted from your grade.

Third - obtain magazine three articles pertaining to the event. You can go to the UCF library, local public libraries and there are also a wealth of articles online. Time Magazine has digitized their ENTIRE run of issues and they are online. For those of you that subscribe to Time, their archive is free of charge. For those of you that do not subscribe to the magazine you can access their online archives - just see if they have fees. If you are near a decent library (public or university) you can visit and find the magazines on microfilm or at times bound (simply ask the reference librarian to send you in the right direction). If you start early enough - you can also purchase inexpensive copies of the magazines on eBay and similar sites. Be certain to have articles from MORE than one magazine issue and more than one magazine title (meaning you should have Time and Life or Look and National Geographic).

Fourth - You will need three newspaper articles from the period that address your selected mission. So if you select Alan Shepard's flight - you need articles from the early 1960s - not 1965, 1972, or later.

Fifth - Watch at least one of the NASA videos listed on the NASA Mercury page. This is going to assist you in how NASA was selling the project to the public. Goals of assignment: When you write your essay address provide a brief recap/introduction of the mission. Consider the views presented in The Astronaut Wives Club. What was the tone of the writer/reporter? Depending on the source you will find the tones range from incredible wonder to what a total waste of taxpayer's money. Some will discuss the future potential. Others you will be able to read the Cold War overtones in the reporting. But the FOCUS should not be on recapping the mission. Read into the articles - focus on the tones.