John Glenn Project MercuryToday is the 50th anniversary of NASA astronaut John Glenn’s Project Mercury flight, when he became the first American to orbit the Earth. On that day, Glenn became one of America’s most important heroes.

As far as the United States was concerned, John Glenn’s Feb. 20, 1962, flight aboard Friendship 7 could not have been more important. Less than a year earlier, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had become the first human in space.

It was no accident that Glenn was chosen to be first to orbit the planet. As a U.S. Marine, he flew 59 combat missions in World War II and later flew 63 more during the Korean War.

(READ the story in CNET)

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