Can you pass the test NASA gave potential astronauts in 1958?

May John Glenn be with you.
spatial visualization
Spatial Visualization

In 1958, the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (aka NASA) launched a search for the nation’s first spacemen. Of the 508 military candidates the agency considered, only seven would become Mercury astronauts.

In early 1959, 31 top contenders arrived at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to endure what’s perhaps the most exhaustive battery of psychological, intellectual, and physical work-ups in modern history.

The tests

mechanical comprehension
Mechanical comprehension
Hidden figures
Hidden figures
progressive matrices
Progressive matrices
Analogies Courtesy Cree

Hopefuls sat in extreme heat and cold, did math in 145-decibel rooms (normal conversation is 60 dB), and spent hours in isolation chambers. On top of all that, candidates took 12 intelligence tests. These exams sought to predict a wealth of unknowns: how the men would maneuver spacecraft, if they could problem-solve midflight, and whether they grasped the science that would keep them aloft. What follows is a subset of those brain teasers for you to try. May John Glenn be with you.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2018 Intelligence issue of Popular Science.