One of the signs accompanying the spacecraft. It reads
Training on Earth
Each of the Mercury 7 astronauts went through a long and difficult training
program on Earth to get ready for their mission in space. To prepare for the
extreme physical demands of space travel, the astronauts were put through
several difficult training exercises.
To practice controlling a spinning spacecraft, the astronauts were secured
in three interlocked spinning metal cages called the Multiple-Axis Space
Test Inertial Facility (MASTIF), which simulated the types of movements
they might encounter during their flight.
To learn breathing techniques and muscle contractions necessary to help
them counteract the effects of a g-forces on the body, the astronauts were
put into a giant human
centrifuge able to spin them around and speed up so quickly it could
simulate the huge g-forces of launch and reentry.
To prepare for the microgravity of space, the astronauts trained in a
airplane (lovingly nicknamed the "vomit comet") that flew in an
arc-like pattern at high speeds and would give about 25 seconds of
weightlessness at a time.