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60 Years of Nasa’s Great History: John Glenn Orbited Earth in Freedom 7 in 1962; It Put Nasa Back Into the Space Race

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60 years ago, Feb 20, 1962, was a great day for NASA as well as for American history, John Glenn orbited the Earth in Freedom 7, a  tiny capsule; because of it NASA once again proved that it was back into space race.

John Glenn in spacecraft (source-NASA)

The Mercury spacecraft circled Earth for three hours straight, John Glenn was NASA’S first astronaut to orbit the earth. On this day 60 years ago, NASA announced that John Glenn has launched from Florida successfully in a tiny capsule named, Freedom 7. It was a glorious day for NASA as it was NASA’s first time to launch a crowded orbit in space.

It was a milestone for the U.S.A as its rival in the cold war Soviet Union had already launched its first human orbit with Yuri Gagarin(10 months ago). So NASA was in hurry to launch this to show the world its capability as well as to prove the United States’ progress in space.

John Glenn worked as a project Mercury astronaut in NASA from April 1959. He became part of the Mercury seven group, Glenn served as a backup astronaut for the first two Americans in space. Later on Feb 20, 1962, Glenn went to space in the Mercury Freedom 7 capsule. He orbited Earth three times in the span of more than five hours with a speed of 17,000 mph. After the first orbit, there was a mechanical problem in the craft. The sensor indicated the heat shield that protect the astronaut was loose. To protect himself Glenn kept the retrorocket pack. Though he landed safely on Earth there was a huge risk. According to him, the experience was quite terrifying. After his first orbit, he retired from the Marine corps in 1965. However, he worked as a business executive for many years. He was selected as Senet in 1974 from Ohio. He worked as a senet to enhance space, science, and education in the United States. He served as senator until 1999. On Oct 29, 1998, Glenn once again rode the space shuttle Discovery, it orbited Earth 134 days on the span of nine days. He set a record by becoming the oldest space traveller (

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source-Getty images

According to Forbes magazine, Glenn was not happy with NASA. He thought that NASA was making decisions without concerning him. He thought he would be the first person to die in space. Though he never show his concerns to the public, he always acted confident in front of the common people. Twenty minutes after his takeoff he passed over the Sahara desert and clicked photos. One of Glenn’s main tasks was to observe how a person can see the Earth from space. When He crossed Perth he reported that he saw thousands of lights. Perth people turned every light on in their houses to welcome Glenn.

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This famous astronaut, John Glenn died on Dec 06, 2016. To honor him, NASA named its research center in Ohio as “Glenn Research Centre”. His Freedom 7 capsule is on display at Udvar-Hazy center. He will always be remembered as a hero in the history of America


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