John Glenn was no stranger to speed. In fact, the man practically lived for it as an aviator in the United States Marine Corps (friggin RAH)! John Glenn was a badass in the skies, but that's not what we're going to talk about today. No, we're gonna talk about the time that they placed good ol John Glenn atop a big ass rocket and sent him skyward. Let's talk about this rocket for a minute so you're all fully aware of what John Glenn was sitting on before he became the first American to orbit the Earth.The Atlas LV 3B was as the name suggests, part of the Atlas family of rockets. Funny thing, the Atlas rockets were prone to blowing up on the launch pad. The rocket stood just over ninety-four feet tall and had a diameter of ten feet. So there sits John Glenn, USMC atop a ten-foot wide circle, ninety-four feet in the air. While it's certainly not being atop the Sears Tower, you're sitting eight stories up, on a whole shitload of explosive/combustible fuels. If something went wrong (like it was prone to do as we mentioned before) you'd be screwed. Also, you're all alone. It's only you up there. Nobody else to pin the blame on if something goes wrong.
So there John Glenn was. The ignition occurred, no problems, the rockets kicked on and Friendship 7 started to lift off the platform, still no failures. Picking up speed as the combined thrust of 422,785 pounds of force lifted the ship up to the altitude of 162 miles above sea level. Glenn orbited the earth a total of three times, eventually splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. While the support staff was huge, Glenn ultimately had to endure the flight and ordeal by himself. The immense bravery and incredible levels of self-reliance are the truest examples of the American spirit.