This commemorative patch marks the Mercury Atlas 6 mission of February 20, 1962, during which an American first orbited the Earth. In this mission, a Mercury-Atlas rocket boosted NASA Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. in his Friendship 7 capsule to an altitude of nearly 265 kilometers. Glenn circled the Earth three times in a flight lasting just less five hours, thus having achieved Project Mercury's primary goal of orbital spaceflight.
Although the first NASA mission patch was created for Gemini V in 1965, designs for earlier missions were created retroactively to allow collectors and the public to commemorate all of NASA's human spaceflights. This patch was made by an unknown manufacturer for commercial sale.
It was donated to the National Collection by Mance Clayton in 1982.
Gift of Mance Clayton