2008

This Month in NASA History

This year, as NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we’ll be highlighting technology innovations and important moments in NASA history, leading to our special 50th Anniversary Issue in October. This Month in NASA History: On February 20, 1962, John H. Glenn became the first American to circle the Earth, making three orbits in his Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft. The flight lasted a total of 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds before the Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down in the ocean.

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Astronaut John Glenn enters Friendship7 to begin the first American manned Earth orbital mission. (Great Images in NASA)
From February 3-11, 1994, Astronauts Charles F. Bolden and Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr. flew Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-60) on a historic mission featuring the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on a U.S. mission in space, Mission Specialist Sergei K. Krikalev. Exactly one year later, Discovery flew another historic mission featuring the flyby of the Russian Mir Space Station. It also featured the first time that a woman pilot, Eileen M. Collins, flew the Space Shuttle.

Learn more about these events at //www.nasa.gov/50th.

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