Looking back on American human spaceflight history: Mercury, Gemini paved way for moonshot
Leading up to the May 27 launch of NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken we’re taking a look back at milestones in U.S. human spaceflight that paved the way for future astronauts, starting with the Mercury and Gemini projects. (NASA)A chimpanzee named Enos launched in the Mercury spacecraft on an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Feb. 20, 1962: First American to orbit EarthPresident John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson greet astronaut John Glenn. (Image: LBJ Presidential Library/NASA)Less than a year after the second human spaceflight from the U.S., Astronaut John Glenn Jr. made history becoming the first American to orbit the Earth three times. (Image: NASA History Office) (WKMG 2020)While the Mercury spacecraft could only carry one astronaut, Gemini was designed to fly the first two-person crew.