John Glenn pre-flight
Yet NASA didn't throw in the towel. Less than a month later, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to launch into space, and then, on Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn followed that great achievement by becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.
Now, 50 years later, NASA is celebrating Glenn's historic mission, and all Americans have yet another reason to look back at one of the most ambitious periods in our history, and at some of our biggest heroes.
February 17, 2012 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
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