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Liberty Bell 7
Liberty Bell 7

Astronaut Gus Grissom climbs into "Liberty Bell 7" spacecraft before launch on the morning of July 21, 1961. Astronaut John Glenn, Grissom's back up, helps him into the capsule.

A problem with the hatch led Grissom's capsule to sink after splashdown. It was salvaged from the Atlantic Ocean in 1999.

Grissom's suborbital flight on a Mercury-Redstone rocket was the second manned U.S. spaceflight. Glenn followed him a month later with the first orbital flight by an American.

Image credit: NASA
 

Page Last Updated: September 27th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator