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Space History Photo: John Glenn OK

space history, nasa, mercury, john glenn
Astronaut John Glenn inspects artwork to be painted on his Mercury spacecraft in 1962. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut John Glenn and technicians inspect artwork that will be painted on the outside of his Mercury spacecraft. John Glenn nicknamed his capsule "Friendship 7."

On February 20, 1962 astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. 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.

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

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NASA Archives
NASA Archives

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