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Lewis History of Space Travel, Episode 5: Friendship 7, Part I (1980)

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Sound | 1980

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  •  The film Friendship 7 begins 
  •  Introducing John Glenn 
  •  Inside the Mercury Control Center at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida 
  •  Other Project Mercury tracking stations, from Nigeria to Australia to Mexico 
  •  A station in Corpus Christi, Texas prepares for Glenn’s flight 
  •  Glenn enters the spacecraft 
  •  The countdown begins 
  •  Takeoff! 
 
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Produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this film from 1980 contains the fifth installment of the Lewis History of Space Travel series. The episode features the first half of Friendship 7, a film about the first American orbital spaceflight. Part of Project Mercury, John Glenn launched into space on February 20, 1962, performing three orbits around the Earth before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. The film captures the preparation for the mission, from background about Project Mercury to a look inside the global tracking network. While Houston was not yet the base for mission control, which was at the time located at Cape Canaveral in Florida, Texas did participate in the mission through a tracking station in Corpus Christi.