Collection Item Summary:
This star chart flew on John H. Glenn Jr.’s Friendship 7 Mercury capsule when he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn's three-orbit mission on February 20, 1962, was a sterling success, as he overcame problems with the automatic control system and a faulty telemetry signal that the heatshield was loose. Glenn reentered successfully and splashed down in the Atlantic 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds after launch.
NASA transferred Friendship 7 to the Smithsonian Institution in 1963, which has exhibited it in buildings on the National Mall ever since. This star chart, which is mounted in a plastic sleeve with a moving overlay to show the view out the capsule window and the Earth’s horizon, came with the spacecraft to the Smithsonian.