Thanks to the many brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to exploring outer space, traveling beyond the planet Earth is a reality. When the “space race” began in the 1950s, becoming a sort of competition between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, the Soviet Union worked in secret and proved to be far more ahead in their space research. Though the Soviet cosmonaut (the Russian word for astronaut) Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, Ohio-born John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. As part of the Mercury 7 project, John Glenn orbited the earth three times on his own mission called Mercury 6. In February of 1962, He traveled around the world in his capsule which he named Friendship 7 and each time he circled the earth, his capsule logged 25,300 miles!
Back row: Shepard, Grissom, Cooper;
Front row: Schirra, Slayton, Glenn, Carpenter in 1960.