Imagine you're flying on a commercial airliner and you see one of these guys up by the cockpit door. Would you panic? Would you rush forward to tackle him?
(Click on the image to see a larger version of this picture)
What is even more amazing is that each and every one of these characters received extensive training as a pilot -- at the expense of the US Government, no less!
How would you feel about flying with one of these characters in control of the airplane? Take another look at these guys, then continue below to see the rest of the story.
In this 1960 photograph, the seven original Mercury astronauts participate in U.S. Air Force survival training exercises at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada. Pictured from left to right are: L. Gordon Cooper, M. Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Virgil I. Grissom, Walter Schirra and Donald K. Slayton. Portions of their clothing have been fashioned from parachute material, and all have grown beards from their time in the wilderness. The purpose of this training was to prepare astronauts in the event of an emergency or faulty landing in a remote area.
Photo and caption source: NASA
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