Retro Space Images: John Glenn Aboard Freedom 7

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Back-Up Pilot: Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn is shown in the cockpit of the MR-3 (Freedom 7) spacecraft at Launch Complex 5 in April 1961. Glenn was serving as back-up pilot to fellow astronaut Alan Shepard. The following month, on May 5, 1961, Shepard would become the first American in space. Glenn would have to wait almost a year to make his own history as the first American in orbit on February 20, 1962.

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