Grissom flew Mercury and Gemini flights until dying in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967; the others all served until retirement. Schirra piloted Apollo 7, the first crewed Apollo mission, into orbit in Grissom's place. When he died in 2016 at the age of 95, he was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.
The other members of the group died between 2004 and 2012: Caldwell (born 100 years ago this week), Scott (killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003), Gordon Cooper (died of heart failure in 2012 at the age of 92), Grissom (the sole survivor of the Apollo 1 fire in 1967), and Enos (he suffered from depression and committed suicide in 2004).
So, yes, any Mercury astronauts died.
The Mercury Seven were a group of seven astronauts chosen to pilot Project Mercury spacecraft. They are also known as the "Original Seven" and "Astronaut Group 1." Shepard died in 2004; Brown, Lovell, Borman, Anders and Clifton survived to see the end of their missions.
Anders was the only member of the crew to walk on Mars. He did so in August 2003, almost eight months after his crewmate Lovell had done so four years earlier. Andres died on 15 May 2015 at the age of 82 due to complications from leukemia. The other six members of the crew are still alive today.
Clifton was the only member of the crew to have flown in space before being assigned to Mercury. He had been a backup pilot for Gus Grissom's first orbital flight, and was aboard the second Mercury mission as part of the crew that included John Glenn. However, during an EVA (extra-vehicular activity) to service the spacecraft, Clifton became disoriented and could not be found by his crewmates. Although he was eventually located safe and sound, NASA officials decided he was too risky to fly again and he was replaced by Schirra on the next mission. Clifton continued to work with NASA as a consultant until his death in 2016 at the age of 88.
Schirra, Glenn, and Scott Carpenter are the last remaining Mercury astronauts. Virgil "Gus" Grissom died in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967; Donald K. "Deke" Slayton died in 1993 of brain cancer; and Alan Shepard Jr. died of leukemia in 1998. In April 1959, Cooper was chosen as a Mercury astronaut. He died in July 1962 when his Vostok spacecraft crashed on its return to Earth.
The only surviving member of the first group of astronauts is Gordon Cooper. He retired in 2004 after 44 years with NASA, most recently working from Houston as director of flight operations. The other members of this group are dead.
Of the remaining astronauts, only three (Schirra, Glenn, and Carpenter) were alive when the Space Shuttle program began in 1981. They all flew on one mission: OA-3, which lasted 10 days and 10 hours and carried supplies for the International Space Station (ISS). Since then, Schirra has died, Glenn has retired, and Carpenter has stayed on at NASA until now. The only other man who has flown in space twice is Mike Hopkins, but he didn't count toward the six because his first trip was as part of the Russian crew of Soyuz 19 in 1975.
There are currently only 12 people on Earth who have walked in space: five Russians and seven Americans.
"The three astronauts seemed to perish instantaneously," according to the report. Grissom was just the second American in space. On July 21, 1961, he piloted the second Project Mercury mission, and on March 23, 1965, he was the command pilot of Gemini 3. The Gemini mission orbited the Earth three times. Each orbit took about six hours.
Gemini was designed by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of its Project Mercury. The goal was to develop a spacecraft that could carry one human being into orbit around the Earth and return him or her safely to Earth. The project was led by Wernher von Braun's team at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). The project started right after World War II when NASA was established by Congress. The first test flight of a prototype Mercury vehicle designated NC-101 took place on April 11, 1945, just two months after Germany surrendered ending the war.
Gemini was launched on February 18, 1965. It was the third of five flights planned for this program. The previous two missions had been successful but there were problems with the third spacecraft which caused an abort signal to be sent out from the control center at Cape Canaveral shortly before launch. This meant that Grissom and White were unable to leave their ships at the point where they would have been safe from harm's way and instead had to enter them again at a later time.
Schirra went in space on Mercury-Atlas 8, Mercury's third orbital trip, Gemini 6A in 1965, and Apollo 7, the first crewed Apollo mission. Schirra was the first person to be sent into space three times, and the only person to have flown on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. He died in a plane crash on May 4, 2001.
Mercury-Atlas 8 was built by North American Aviation at their Inglewood plant. It was originally intended as an unmanned test flight for NASA, but since there were no plans for the next mission, Schirra was invited to join it as a passenger instead. The flight took off from LC-17A at Cape Canaveral on March 3, 1962, with Wally Schirra, Enos "Nosee" Gibson, and Donald Thomas in its capsule. After reaching orbit, the capsule returned to Earth for a safe landing about eight hours later near Fort Worth, Texas.
Gemini 6A was launched on February 18, 1965, with John Young, Nick Christman, and Charles Bassett aboard. They spent 10 days in space, performing experiments for NASA. The spacecraft landed in the ocean after completing its mission. This was the first of two flights planned by Jim Lovell and Jack Swigert for this mission; however, due to problems with their ship, the USS Hornet, they were replaced by Young and Christman before takeoff.
The mission was to be Apollo's first crewed flight, and it was set to launch on February 21, 1967. A fire ripped through the command module, or CM, killing astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. The cause of the fire has never been determined conclusively. Some witnesses reported seeing flames inside the spacecraft, while others said they saw nothing unusual before the accident.
The astronauts died of asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen in their lungs. They were burned beyond recognition. The only way to identify them was by their dental records.
Apollo 1 was the first manned spaceflight to fail during its opening mission. It was also the first time three people had died in a single spaceflight. This fact alone made the tragedy very memorable. Additionally, the fire that killed the astronauts occurred during a ground test of an emergency ventilation system used on later missions. This too makes the Apollo 1 disaster one to remember for years to come.
Of the four men who went into orbit on Apollo 1, only Grissom and White survived. Chaffee, who was sitting in the command seat, died along with the crew cabin. He is now listed among those who have given their lives in space exploration.
After Apollo 1, many changes were made to prevent similar accidents in future missions.