MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20: FIRST AMERICAN TO ORBIT EARTH 50TH
Profile America — Monday, February 20th. Fifty years ago today, the fledgling U.S. space program took a big stride forward. Astronaut John Glenn made three orbits of the earth aboard the Friendship 7 space capsule. He was the third human to accomplish the feat, and the first American. In 1998, Glenn, then 77 years old and a U.S. senator from Ohio, went into space again on the shuttle Discovery to test the effects of space travel on the elderly. With the space shuttle program ended after 135 missions, the federal outlay for science this year is just over $32 billion, with nearly $17.5 billion earmarked for space technology. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 136 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 821
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