Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The original Right Stuff on display right here!

Back on February 20th, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to circle the Earth in the Friendship 7 spacecraft, as part of NASA's Mercury program.

Here are the boys going through survival training in the Nevada desert, wearing clothing they made out of their parachutes. You might recognize from the movie the names, from left to right, of Gordo Cooper, Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton.

This shows John Glenn climbing into the capsule. The duct tape on the window must have given him confidence, along with the ten prior canceled flights! Notice as well the tiny, claustrophobic door. Not much room to escape if necessary.

Glenn made three successful orbits at 17,500 miles per hour, and was the third human (two Russians beat us to it) to circle the Earth in space. If any of you have kids, did their school mention any of this? Probably not, and too bad for that.

After his successful flight, the crew got together in this picture for a bit of celebration.

Left to right, Carpenter, Slayton, Glenn, Grissom, Shepard and Schirra.

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