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In Photos: How John Glenn Made History on 1st US Orbital Flight Mercury-Atlas 6

The Original Mission Control

NASA

During the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, John Glenn and the Friendship 7 spacecraft are tracked all around the Earth from the Mission Control Room at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

First American in Space

NASA

As astronaut John Glenn orbits Earth, an onboard camera inside the Friendship 7 spacecraft captured this image of the astronaut during his initial orbital flight.

Mission Success!!

NASA

John Glenn splashed down inside the Friendship 7 Spacecraft around 800 miles (1,300 km) southeast of Cape Canaveral near Grand Turk Island. Glenn was recovered a by a helicopter from the USS Noa. He was aboard the recovery vessel just 21 minutes after splashdown. Glenn was later transferred to the USS Randolph.

Recovering Friendship

NASA

Following a successful mission and splashdown, the Friendship 7 spacecraft, connected to a retrieval cable, bobs in the Atlantic Ocean.

Examine Orbital Effects

NASA

Department of Defense recovery personnel and spacecraft technicians from NASA examine the Friendship 7 spacecraft after the flight.

Presidential Touch

NASA

On Feb. 23, 1962, President John F. Kennedy honored astronaut John Glenn at the NASA facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, following the historical first crewed orbital flight for the U.S.

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