February 20, 2003


Glenn Orbits Earth 3 Times Safely (Richard Witkin, 2/20/62, The New York Times)
John H. Glenn Jr. orbited three times around the earth today and landed safely to become the first American to make such a flight.

The 40-year-old Marine Corps lieutenant colonel traveled about 81,000 miles in 4 hours 56 minutes before splashing into the Atlantic at 2:43 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

He had been launched from here at 9:47 A. M.

The astronaut's safe return was no less a relief than a thrill to the Project Mercury team, because there had been real concern that the Friendship 7 capsule might disintegrate as it rammed back into the atmosphere.

There had also been a serious question whether Colonel Glenn could complete three orbits as planned. But despite persistent control problems, he managed to complete the entire flight plan.

It's worth remembering that at this time twenty years ago John Glenn was considered a, if not the, front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2003 9:08 PM
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