The Legacy of Flight
Images from the archives of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
- By David Romanowski and Melissa Keiser
- AirSpaceMag.com, September 14, 2010
NASA selected Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. for the third Mercury mission, the first to send an astronaut into orbit. Senior in age and rank among the Mercury Seven, Glenn brought to the project both a distinguished service record and a winning smile. As a test pilot and a decorated combat veteran of World War II and Korea, he possessed the nerves of steel required for the unnerving prospect of being strapped inside a capsule atop an Atlas rocket and fired into space.