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Posted by Hannah on Feb 19th 2019
It was fifty-seven years ago, on February 20, 1962, when the first American astronaut, John Glenn performed three orbits of the earth over the course of 4 hours in the Mercury-Atlas 6. At age 77, he was the oldest person to travel in space.
Some lesser known facts leading up to this historic day, includes the involvement of African American mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson who worked for NASA and acted as the brains behind the launch. Known as ‘human computers’, their mathematical calculations sent Glenn into orbit and brought him safely back home. The movie Hidden Figures was based on their story and is a fascinating account of their heroism and willpower, proving that gender and race need not hold a person back from reaching a dream.
When John Glenn died at the age of 95, Katherine Johnson said: "A good man has left Earth for the last time. John Glenn's life will long be remembered for his time in space, his courage and his service to all Americans."
The John Glenn Historic Newspaper is a full reprint covering the events of February 20, 1962 and makes the perfect gift for space lovers!