19 Feb '12, 8am

50th anniversary of first US space flight is bittersweet

50th anniversary of first US space flight is bittersweet

United States astronaut John Glenn climbs into the Friendship 7 space capsule atop an Atlas rocket at Cape Canaveral for the flight which made him the first American to orbit the earth in this Feb 20, 1962 photo provided by NASA. -- PHOTO: AP WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States marks the 50th anniversary on Monday of the first flight of an American into orbit. But the historic landmark is bittersweet: the first nation to land people on the Moon now depends on Russia for its manned space flights. At 9.47am (10.47pm Singapore time) on Feb 20, 1962, on the eleventh try, astronaut John Glenn took off from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas rocket to make three orbits around the Earth in just under five hours. The flight followed by nearly a year the first manned trip into space by Soviet Yuri Gagarin. But it restored confidence in America's ability to compete in the space race an...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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