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John Glenn enters his Friendship 7 capsule | by NASA on The Commons
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John Glenn enters his Friendship 7 capsule

Project Mercury astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. enters his Mercury Friendship 7 capsule before launch on February 20, 1962. At 9:47 a.m. (EST), his Atlas launch vehicle lifted him into orbit for his flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds. Onboard Friendship 7, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, and the third American to fly in space. A faulty signal indicating a problem with the heat shield forced NASA mission controllers to cut the flight to only three orbits, but Glenn returned to Earth safely.


Image # : S63-01207

Date: February 20, 1962

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Taken on February 20, 1962