I’ve previously posted on some of the main reasons why splashdowns were not a long-term solution to the problem of how to bring men home from space. One of the factors that incited NASA to pursue a land landing system in the 1960s was the unsustainable manpower associated with recovery operations. This made me wonder how many men is too many to employ towards a successful splashdown. I decided to look into just how many men made up the recovery operations for each Mercury mission. Hint: the image to the left shows the crew of the USS Kearsarge, one of the 27 ships on hand to recover Wally Schirra after his Sigma 7 orbital flight in 1962.
So, just how many men were on hand to pluck John Glenn out of the Atlantic after NASA’s first orbital space flight? Click here to find out.