Space Programs

First Humans in Space

Who was the first American to orbit Earth?

On February 20, 1962, John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (1921-), became the first American to orbit Earth. Glenn’s historic flight was part of the Mercury program, which was initiated by NASA to send humans into space. Glenn traveled inside a capsule called Friendship 7 for five hours, orbiting our planet three times. He later became a U.S. Senator, representing Ohio; and in 1998, he went back into space again aboard the space shuttle Discovery. 2


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App