Fla. Feb 20 1962 ready for the flight which made him the first American to orbit the earth (AP Photo) In seconds a great roar barreled across the Cape and struck the ears of reporters and other observers nearly two miles away Less than two minutes after blastoff Glenn reported all systems in the spaceship were “go” He confirmed booster engine cutoff about two minutes after liftoff and was reading his instruments reporting back on cabin-pressure and the gradual buildup of the pressures of gravity that were forcing him back into his contour seat Shortly before three minutes he reported the escape tower separation and the space ship was reported climbing well on its trajectory Below a high altitude observation plane traced a lazy “S” contrail to the south of the climbing missile File Photo: In this Feb 23 1962 astronaut John Glenn and President John F Kennedy inspect the Friendship 7 the Mercury capsule in which Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth Kennedy presented Distinguished Service medal to Glenn at Cape Canaveral Fla AP Photo/Vincent P Connolly File) As the rocket soared on toward orbit Glenn reported “I feel fine” And that his view was tremendous Mercury Control Center receiving a steady stream of reports said that when the Atlas separated from the capsule about five minutes after launch Glenn reported it was a “beautiful sight to see” At 9:56 am Glenn was reported in contact with Mercury Tracking Station at Bermuda Glenn reported from his space ship that he saw a very large cloud pattern near the Cape Canaveral area The space ship was tilted into its proper altitude the Mercury Control Center expected to confirm an orbit momentarily The exact time of launch was 9:47 am (EST) Glenn’s voice piped into the public address system at the press site came over loud and clear as he said “Roger the scope is retracting Roger the scope is retracted The light is out” Mercury Control said that the booster engine cut off 503 miles east of Cape Canaveral at an altitude of 100 miles Glenn’s speed at the time was 17500 miles an hour and his orbit would range from a low point of 100 miles to a high point of 160 miles It was estimated that it would take him 99 minutes to complete one orbit of the Earth but Mercury Control said these figures were subject to reevaluation The tape recording of Glenn’s voice just after liftoff was played at the press center and the Mercury Control Center expected to confirm an orbit momentarily For all the latest World News download Indian Express App More Top NewsWritten by Alaka Sahani | Published: November 15 2010 5:33 am Related News After Indias independencethe focus has been more on elite history than subaltern history?s striking about modern India is that the men and women who made its history also wrote most authoritatively about it.
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