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Space History Photo: John Glenn Entering Friendship 7

space history, NASA, project mercury
John Glenn enters the Friendship 7 just before being launched into space for America's first manned Earth orbital mission. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, an overall view of astronaut John Glenn, Jr., as he enters into the spacecraft Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, prior to MA-6 launch operations at Launch Complex 14.

Astronaut Glenn is entering his spacecraft to begin the first American manned Earth orbital mission.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov