Sunday, February 19, 2012

50th Anniversary of Astronaut John Glenn's Orbit

A Mercury program promotional graphic depicting all seven of America's first astronauts. From left to right, Scott Carpenter, Gordo Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.

Author: Daniel Terdiman   Credit: NASA
Original Mercury 7 Astronauts - CBS special NASA slideshow

It's the 50th anniversary of the Mercury 7 Earth orbit of John Glenn, now 90, which was the first complete orbit for the USA from NASA, and it is being celebrated with a grand anniversary party this weekend though Monday. The festivities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, are certainly fitting. Although Russia orbited first (Sputnik), Glenn's feat is still considered a huge event in America's history.

The Friendship 7 capsule, with Glenn soaring solo atop a Mercury-Atlas rocket, circled Earth three times on February 20, 1962. Astronaut Scott Carpenter, 86, who orbited in the next mission, has joined Glenn at the Cape. He and Glenn are the only surviving original astronauts from the Mercury 7 missions.

To see pictures about the Space Program, click the title of this post. Read more there, and if you enlarge either of the photos on the left sidebar on that page, you can view 500 photos. Go for it!

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