Tuesday, February 20, 2007
45 years ago
NASA astronaut John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket to become the first American to orbit the Earth 45 years ago today. His mission was anything but ordinary as telemetry from his Mercury capsule indicated his heat shield was ajar. After three orbits and leaving the retro-rocket pack attached so the straps kept the shield in place, the MiG Mad Marine, as Glenn was called in Korea flying F-86s, de-orbited successfully to a safe splashdown and a ticker-tape parade. Many families in the days to follow would name their newborn boys after America's new hero John Herschel Glenn, but according to John Wilford Noble in We Reach The Moon one estatic couple named their son Orbit.