John Glenn's Friendship 7: 50 Years of American Space Flight -- PICTURES
February 20, 2012 | 8:35 a.m.
Fifty years after former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, became the first American to orbit the Earth, the American space program is somewhat undirected, some critics note. But in the years leading up to Glenn's flight in the Friendship 7 capsule, in which he circled the Earth three times, the goal of the program was very clear: to get Americans into space and, eventually, to land Americans on the moon.
Below are some photos preceding Glenn's historic voyage and after. The last slide is an edited version of NASA's coverage of the trip, available from the National Archives and Records Administration.