An 3D animated preview of the Ares I-X Test Flight, an atmospheric test of a solid rocket booster set up to simulate an Ares I rocket for the now-defunct Constellation program. Ares I-X launched in Oct 2009.
(There were no other Ares I launches; ISS crew launches will be handled by commercial partners, and the Ares program has been replaced with the Space Launch System.)
Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. became 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.