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Caption: Launch of America's first orbital spaceflight. The Mercury Atlas rocket, carrying astronaut John Glenn, blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the beginning of Mercury mission MA-6 on 20 February 1962. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on this mission, in his capsule named Friendship 7. The flight was terminated after just three orbits, and Glenn landed safely - 4 hours 55 minutes after launch. Glenn never went into space again, entering politics after leaving NASA and becoming a US Senator.

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Keywords: 1900s, 1960s, 20 february 1962, 20/02/1962, 20th century, 50 seconds or greater, american, ascending, astronaut, astronautical cape canaveral, blast off, blast-off, blasting off, earth orbit, florida, friendship 7, historical, history, human, john glenn, kennedy space centre, launch, launching, launchpad, lift off, lift-off, lifting off, ma 6, ma-6, manned, manned spaceflight, men, mercury atlas 6, mercury ma-6, mercury program, mercury-atlas 6, mission, nasa, no-one, nobody, north america, north american, programme, senator, space, space race, spaceflight, take off, take-off, taking off, united states, us, usa

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Launch of first US orbital spaceflight, 1

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