ASU announced last week that "On 5 May 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this milestone, the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU have released the Project Mercury Online Digital Archive. In this new digital archive, high-resolution scans of the raw and enhanced versions of the original Mercury flight films are available to both researchers and the general public, to browse or download, at: http://tothemoon.ser.asu.edu/ [right, image from Mercury mission #4 taken on Sept. 13, 1961 is just one of the many images that was written on by engineers. Credit: NASA/JSC/Arizona State University]
"Between 1960 and 1963, NASA launched numerous unmanned and six manned Mercury flights. To record their historic voyages and collect scientific observations from Earth’s orbit, astronauts snapped nearly 2,000 photographs in 70 mm format with handheld and automated cameras. Many of the images (specifically those from the unmanned flights) were taken with cameras mounted on brackets looking out the window on a timer. Robinson’s team assembled these into movies and they are posted on the webpage also.
The collection of scanned images, most taken with the Swedish designed Hasselblad 500c camera that was first introduced in 1957 and renowned for its clarity, are now available in high-resolution for scientists, engineers and the public."[taken in part from the ASU announcement]