Photos: John Glenn, First American in Orbit

Astronaut U.S. Senator John Glenn

NASA/Robert Markowitz, Mark Sowa

STS-95 crewmember, astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth and returned to space in 1998 aboard a Space Shuttle flight.

STS-95 Takeoff


The STS-95 mission carrying Senator John Glenn launched on October 29, 1998

Glenn on Shuttle Middeck


STS-95 payload specialist John Glenn works with the Osteporosis Experiment in Orbit (OSTEO) experiment located in a locker in the Discovery's middeck.

Glenn Photographs from the Flight Deck


STS-95 Payload Specialist John Glenn positions himself to take photos from the Discovery's aft flight deck windows on Flight Day 3.

Glenn at the Cape


Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. in his silver Mercury spacesuit during pre-flight training activities at Cape Canaveral. On February 20, 1962 Glenn lifted off into space aboard his Mercury Atlas (MA-6) rocket and became the first American to orbit the Earth. After orbiting the Earth 3 times, Friendship 7 landed in the Atlantic Ocean 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds later, just East of Grand Turk Island in the Bahamas. Glenn and his capsule were recovered by the Navy Destroyer Noa, 21 minutes after splashdown.

Astronaut John Glenn Confers with Nurse Dolores B. O'Hara

NASA/Johnson Space Center

Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., pilot of the Mercury-Atlas 6 earth-orbital space mission, confers with Astronaut Nurse Dolores B. O'Hara, R.N., during MA-6 prelaunch preparations.

Astronaut, President & Cosmonaut


Second cosmonaut German Titov (right) appears with NASA astronaut John Glenn and President John Kennedy at the White House in 1962. Titov was in Washington to give his account of the Vostok 2 spaceflight to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). The twenty-five-year-old Titov was the youngest person to ever go into space - a record that still stands to this day.

John Glenn Official Portrait


John Glenn, official portrait, 1959.

Glenn in the Mercury Procedures Trainer


Glenn spent hours in the Mercury Procedures Trainer at NASA Langley.

John Glenn with His Wife, Annie


John Glenn explains a feature of the Mercury capsule to his wife, Annie, during one of her visits to NASA Langley in 1959.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.