First American in Orbit:
John Glenn and the
Flight of Friendship 7


Free Public Lecture by
Griffith Observatory Astronomical Observer
Anthony Cook

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Presented at
4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon
ADMISSION IS FREE
Friendship 7 lifts off from launch pad.
Fifty years ago, on February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, in his NASA project Mercury spacecraft, Friendship 7. This presentation will illustrate the importance of the flight in the context of the cold war and the race to the Moon between the United States and the Soviet Union. It will recall the worldwide communication infrastructure created to favor the mission’s success and the anxiety that built during the flight when it was suspected that Glenn’s capsule was fatally flawed.

Friendship 7 lifts off from launch pad.