February 20, 2012

NASA events, Future Forum mark 5 years of Americans in orbit

Feb. 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the day in 1962 when U.S. Sen. John Glenn piloted his Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first U.S. orbital.

In the next two weeks, NASA Television will broadcast a series of live events and special programming to commemorate 50 years of Americans in orbit, including the premiere of a new documentary and special interactive online features.

Here is a list of scheduled activities, all of which will be broadcast on NASA Television:

Feb. 17

10-11 a.m., EST: Glenn and Carpenter, the first two Americans to orbit Earth, will join NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana for a presentation about NASA’s past, present and future. The event is open to employees at the space center in Florida.

3-3:30 p.m., EST: Glenn and Carpenter will conduct a news conference in the Mercury Mission Control exhibit of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Feb. 18

6:30 p.m., EST: Glenn and Carpenter will participate in “On the Shoulders of Giants,” a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex honoring all who made NASA’s Project Mercury possible. The program will include remarks from Cabana, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and astronaut Steve Robinson, who flew with Glenn on his second trip into orbit on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission in 1998.

Feb. 20

1:30-3:15 p.m., EST: Glenn and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will speak live with the crew on board the International Space Station to kick off the agency’s two-day Future Forum at Ohio State University in Columbus. Glenn also will participate in a panel session, “Learning from the Past to Innovate for the Future,” at the event.

Feb. 21

3-3:15 p.m., EST: Glenn will deliver closing remarks at the NASA Future Forum.

March 2

1-2 p.m., EST: Glenn will deliver the keynote address at “Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit” a special event hosted by NASA’s Glenn Research Center at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. The tribute will be included in a Tweetup which the research center is hosting for its Twitter followers on the same day.

An interactive online feature about the Mercury program and Glenn’s flight is available on the agency’s Internet homepage at

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