Astronaut John Glenn was one of the Mercury Seven, the first Americans trained for spaceflight. Before Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in his Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962, he went through a lot of training.
When John Glenn blasted off in Friendship 7, he created history as the first American to orbit our planet. But how did his historic craft earn such an unusual name when the previous two names were decidedly more patriotic in nature?
Before you can send an astronaut to space, you need to be certain you won’t destroy fragile human bodies during a harsh launch and reentry. To do this, astronauts get custom-molded seats tailor-made for their bodies.
While this may look like a snapshot from an alternate futuristic-history of transparent overlays on mechanical globes, it’s a real moment from our past. This is John Glenn cramming in off-world navigation training just weeks before blasting off from Earth.
50 years ago, John Glenn was hurled from the planet to become the fifth human being and third American in outer space. More importantly, he was the first American to orbit the Earth.
In 1962, space travel wasn't what you'd call an "exact" science. NASA was only a few years old and nobody really knew how humans would cope outside the atmosphere. Now, 50 years after his historic orbit, John Glenn recalls what his doctors thought would happen in zero gravity.
The six haggard dudes you see here aren't extras from Lawrence of Arabia, but intrepid, tough as hell astronauts from the Mercury 6 program. The 1960s squad attended survival training school in Nevada to prepare for a remote crash landing.