Welcome Back to Earth!
Six days after Astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule, he rode in a parade with his family and Vice President Lyndon Johnson in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC, Astronaut John Glenn and Mrs. Glenn with their Children Ride with Vice President Johnson in the Washington Parade, 02/26/1962
This Week in Universal News: Apollo 1 Disaster
From the release sheet:
ASTRONAUT DISASTER Apollo astronauts Roger Chaffee, Edward White, and Gus Grissom are all killed in a flash-fire aboard their grounded space capsule. Investigators theorize perhaps a short circuit or electrical overload sparked the blaze. The first Apollo flight was scheduled for February.
Watch the entire newsreel, featuring cryogenics in Arizona, a Chicago blizzard, and other stories here.
About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:
The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.
In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).
While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.
Subject: STS-95 Downlink Mail
Dear Mr. President,
This is certainly a first for me, writing to a President from space, and it may be a first for you in receiving an E mail direct from an orbiting spacecraft…
Writing from space
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. In 1998, he returned to space at the age of 77, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) on October 29, 1998. In the 36 years since his first orbit, both spacecraft and communication technology had advanced significantly – Senator Glenn could now communicate with the president via email directly from space.
John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, became the oldest human to venture into space on October 29, 1998 as a crew member of Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95).
John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard the Mercury capsule Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. This photo was taken of Glenn exiting Friendship 7, and was collected by the Senate Committee on Aeronautical Space and Science in 1965, who oversaw the operation of NASA at the time. After becoming a Senator in 1973, Glenn was invited by NASA to return to space over three decades after his first flight. Glenn became the oldest man to travel into space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on October 29, 1998.
Photo of John H. Glenn in Friendship 7, SEN 89A-F1, Records of the U.S. Senate
(Ed. Note: corrected first sentence to clarify that John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. Alan Shepard was the first American in space. Thanks Twitter user @imillis for the catch.)
Happy Birthday NASA!
America in Space - The First Decade, 1968
From the NASA series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981
On June 29, 1995, the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir Space Station, marking the first Shuttle-Mir docking. NASA STS-71 had several other firsts: when docked together the Shuttle and Mir made the largest spacecraft ever in orbit; the first changeout of a shuttle crew in orbit; and it was the 100th U.S. human space launch conducted from the Cape.
(See also the NASA Mission Archive for STS-71, via NASA.gov)
The Astronauts and Cosmonauts of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
The U.S. astronauts took Russian language courses; the Soviets took English courses. Both teams agreed that in space, the Americans would speak to their Soviet counterparts in Russian who in turn would speak English to the Americans.
Photo courtesy of NASA.gov: Astronauts (L-R Donald K. Slayton, Vance D. Brand and Thomas P. Stafford) and cosmonauts (L-R Valery N. Kubasov and Alexey A. Leonov) of the Apollo-Soyuz mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Fact Sheet—Astronaut Glenn’s Space Mission
A somewhat dry by-the-book recap of John Glenn’s historic mission to become the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. With the world watching the historic and live-televised event, Glenn orbited the Earth three times in his space capsule, Friendship 7. Four hours and 55 minutes after ignition, John Glenn and Friendship 7 returned to Earth and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Want to see more? Try this 5-minute version of NASA’s film “Friendship 7”:
Astronaut Bruce McCandless II floats a few meters away from the cabin of the earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger as part of an historic Extravehicular Activity (EVA) during Flight 41-B. This is the first use of the nitrogen-propelled, hand-controlled device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), which allows astronauts to move freely in space without a tether, 02/07/1984
It’s the first day of our “12 Days of Archives” holiday carol! We hope you enjoy these images and our rhymes as we count down the days until December 24.
On the first day of the Archives celebration,
an archivist caused me great elation
when he gave to me one astronaut in space.
Image: “Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot for the Gemini-Titan 4 space flight, floats in zero gravity of space. … The visor of his helmet is gold-plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun.” June 3, 1965, ARC Identifier 5804878.