On Feb. 20, 1962, astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., became the first American to orbit Earth. Launched from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 14, Glenn’s Mercury-Atlas 6 “Friendship 7” spacecraft completed a successful three-orbit mission, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 162 statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. The flight lasted a total of 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds before the spacecraft splashed down in the ocean. This photograph of John Glenn during the Mercury-Atlas 6 spaceflight was taken by a camera onboard the spacecraft.
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