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Star Talk: Launched into history

John Glenn’s orbital flight nearing 50th anniversary

John Glenn and his wife, Annie, ride in a limousine with Vice President Lyndon Johnson during a parade in the astronaut’s honor in Washington on Feb. 26, 1962. Six days earlier, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.
John Glenn and his wife, Annie, ride in a limousine with Vice President Lyndon Johnson during a parade in the astronaut’s honor in Washington on Feb. 26, 1962. Six days earlier, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.
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Fifty years ago, an Atlas rocket launched John Glenn into space, where he became the first American to orbit Earth and the third to travel into space. His flight was the sixth of the Mercury series, the first space program of the United States. In all, there were nine missions in the Mercury program. The first tested the Redstone rocket that was used for the first four Mercury flights. Ham, a chimpanzee, was the “astronaut” ...


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