40th Anniversary Flight of John Glenn

February 20, 2002


Provided by: NASA
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

On this date 40 years ago, February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth. The photo above shows the Atlas rocket carrying Glenn lifting off from Cape Canaveral during the Mercury-6 Project. His space capsule (atop the rocket) was known as Friendship-7. In 1998, former astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn was awarded a flight on the Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-95 Mission, and at age 77, he became the oldest person to orbit the Earth.

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