TIME OUT FROM OUTER SPACE
Although they expect to be shot out of this world within the next two years, the seven Mercury Astronauts are in anything but seventh heaven right now. Instead, brain-befuddling studies, nerve-racking psychological tests and bone-wearying physical stresses fill most of their hours at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Fortunately, some time is left for recreation. And, as shown in the course of a Virginia weekend together, it is time put to good, down-to-earth uses.
Water Skier Walter Schirra Jr., like other Astronauts, thinks sport one of best for keeping in shape and keeping cool in Virginia summer.
Golfer Alan Shepard Jr. and Tennis Player Malcolm Carpenter are above average in games, though Shepard, who shoots in the 80s, is no stranger to traps and Carpenter no threat to Alex Olmedo.
Skin Divers all, spacemen are learning the technique as part of conditioning. Clockwise from left: Navy Lieutenant Commander Schirra, Navy Lieutenant Carpenter, Air Force Captain Leroy Cooper Jr., Marine Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn Jr., Navy Lieutenant Commander Shepard, Air Force Captain Don Slayton and an Air Force associate. Astronaut Virgil Grissom was elsewhere.
FOURTH BY A NECK
To come a cropper means, literally, to fall headlong off a horse. While Jockey Norman Mercier did not come a cropper at Rhode Island's Narragansett Park the other day, he did come as close as ever a cropper was come. Riding a chestnut 3-year-old named Cheltenham, Mercier tried to swap whip hands 70 yards from the finish. Just then the gelding lurched slightly, and in the next few strides Mercier lost his whip, his irons and his seat. To forestall losing his horse, he clutched Cheltenham around the neck, and held on with might and mane to jounce home fourth for a $150 share of the purse. Race run, Cheltenham dumped the jockey over the track rail with a horse laugh and walked off. Unhurt, Mercier walked off too, then got back in the saddle (and stayed there) for the next two races.
YARDS FROM FINISH LINE AT NARRAGANSETT PARK NORMAN MERCIER LOSES HIS HOLD (1) ON LURCHING CHELTENHAM. STILL HOPING TO AVOID A SPILL AND FINISH IN THE MONEY (HORSE IS RUNNING THIRD), ACROBATIC JOCKEY EMBRACES HORSE'S NECK (2 AND 3) RACE OVER, AND PULLED OFF COURSE BY HIS LOPSIDED LOAD, CHELTENHAM STARTS TO VEER (4) TOWARD OUTSIDE RAIL OF TRACK. HANGING ON NOW STRICTLY FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, JOCKEY MERCIER ACCOMPANIES HIS MOUNT NECK TO NECK (5 AND 6) TO RAIL HIS MIND MADE UP ON THE NEXT MOVE, 7-TO-1 CHELTENHAM BREEZES UP TO RAILING AND PITCHES THE JOCKEY OVER. NEITHER MERCIER NOR CHELTENHAM WAS INJURED