First American orbits the earth The Friendship 7 spacecraft and its pilot, Major John Glenn, make three orbits around the Earth and travel 65,763 nautical miles in just under five hours. Glenn's flight, called the Mercury-Atlas 6, comes just months after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's successful orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961.On this day — February 20 1962

First American orbits the earth The Friendship 7 spacecraft and its pilot, Major John Glenn, make three orbits around the Earth and travel 65,763 nautical miles in just under five hours. Glenn's flight, called the Mercury-Atlas 6, comes just months after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's successful orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961.On this day — February 20 1962

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