Tuesday, January 3, 2012

50 YA: Getting ready for Glenn's flight

Glenn in the cockpit of an F-106 trainer.

NASA passed the near year of 1962 preparing for the first flight of an American in orbit of the Earth. Astronaut and Marine John Glenn continued his training in aircraft, simulators, and laboratories as the Mercury capsule he would fly was mated to the Atlas rocket at Cape Canaveral. The flight of the mission was designated MA-6, and was scheduled for January 23rd 1962. The Atlas rocket for the flight had been designated as Atlas 109D, and the capsule was Mercury capsule number 13 (ominous?) which had been built at McDonnell Aircraft's space craft assembly plant in St. Louis, Missouri.

Training with Glenn were astronauts Scott Carpenter, who would be Glenn's backup pilot, and astronauts Deke Slayton and Wally Schirra who were training for the second Mercury-Atlas spaceflight. Glenn's flight would be launched from Launch Complex 14.

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