Group shot of wives taken in 1963 at a Ladies Auxiliary event in Washington, D.C. From left are: Carpenter, Cooper, Glenn, Grissom, Schirra, Shepard and Slayton. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Group shot of Mercury Seven astronaut wives taken in 1963 at a Ladies Auxiliary event in Washington, D.C. From left are: Carpenter, Cooper, Glenn, Grissom, Schirra, Shepard and Slayton. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Website traffic recently has made it clear that lots of you are watching the television show ‘The Astronauts Wives Club’ on ABC. The show had a strong debut, even increasing its audience during the second half hour of the first episode. More than 90 percent of first-week viewers came back for the second episode, promising continuing success for the limited-run summer show.

We thought it would be nice to give you a look at a few vintage photos of the real women of the original Astronaut Wives Club (as well as the husbands too). As of this posting (June 27, 2015), Rene Carpenter, Annie Glenn and Betty Grissom are the last three of the original seven Mercury astronaut wives still alive.

Rene Carpenter at a post-flight press conference for the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission at Cape Canaveral on May 27, 1962. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Rene Carpenter at a post-flight press conference for the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission at Cape Canaveral on May 27, 1962. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Trudy Cooper at Hickam AFB after completion of the Mercury-Atlas 9 mission on May 18, 1963. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Trudy Cooper at Hickam AFB after completion of the Mercury-Atlas 9 mission on May 18, 1963. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Annie Glenn at home in Virginia during November of 1961. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Annie Glenn at home in Virginia during November of 1961. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Betty Grissom at a post-flight press conference for Mercury-Redstone 4 in Cocoa Beach on July 22, 1961. Credit NASA via Retro Space Images

Betty Grissom at a post-flight press conference for Mercury-Redstone 4 in Cocoa Beach on July 22, 1961. Credit NASA via Retro Space Images

 Jo Schirra at home in 1961. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images.

Jo Schirra at home in 1961. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images.

Louise Shepard with Jackie Kennedy after the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Louise Shepard with Jackie Kennedy after the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Marge and Deke Slayton with son Kent in 1974. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

Marge and Deke Slayton with son Kent in 1974. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

The Mercury Seven astronauts:

The Original Mercury Seven astronauts with a U.S. Air Force F-106B jet aircraft. From left to right: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton. Credit: NASA

NASA’s original astronauts – the Mercury Seven – with a U.S. Air Force F-106B jet aircraft. From left to right: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton. Credit: NASA

ABC’s iteration of The Astronaut Wives Club:

Yvonne Strahovski as Rene Carpenter. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Yvonne Strahovski as Rene Carpenter. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Odette Annable as Trudy Cooper. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Odette Annable as Trudy Cooper. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Azure Parsons as Annie Glenn. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Azure Parsons as Annie Glenn. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Betty Grissom. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Betty Grissom. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Zoe Boyle as Jo Schirra. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Zoe Boyle as Jo Schirra. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Dominique McElligott as Louise Shepard. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Dominique McElligott as Louise Shepard. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Erin Cummings as Marge Slayton. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Erin Cummings as Marge Slayton. Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Spaceshots and Snapshots of Projects Mercury and Gemini: A Rare Photographic History

Spaceshots and Snapshots of Projects Mercury and GeminiThis is the story of the people and events of Projects Mercury and Gemini, told through hundreds of unpublished and rare color and black-and-white photographs. Unlike other publications, which have illustrated the Space Race with well-known and easily accessible images, this history draws from the authors’ private library of more than 125,000 high-resolution photos of the first two U.S. manned space programs from 1961 to 1966.
Collected over a lifetime from public and private sources–including NASA archives, fellow photo collectors, retired NASA and news photographers, and auction houses–the images document American space missions of the Cold War era more comprehensively than ever before. Devoting a chapter to each flight for the first time, the authors also include richly-detailed captions, providing new insight into one of America’s greatest triumphs.
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