Explore Calendar of Events First American in Orbit: John Glenn and the Flight of Friendship 7
February 19, 2012
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater

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

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, Griffith Observatory hosted two free public lectures marking the 50th anniversary of the historic flight of Friendship 7, on which John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Upcoming NASA Events at Griffith Observatory

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

Free Public Lecture by Griffith Observatory Astronomical Observer Anthony Cook

Presented at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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.