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On February 20, astronaut John Herschel Glenn, Jr., becomes the first American to orbit Earth in a spacecraft. An Atlas rocket launches the NASA Mercury Project Friendship 7 space capsule from Cape Canaveral. After completing three orbits, Glenn's capsule safely splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean.

In late August, NASA sends the Mariner 2 spacecraft to Venus from Cape Canaveral. Mariner 2 passes within 21,700 miles (35,000 km) of the planet on December 14, 1962—thereby becoming the world's first successful interplanetary space probe. The spacecraft observes very high surface temperatures (~800°F [430°C]). These data shatter pre-space age visions about Venus being a lush, tropical planetary twin of Earth.

During October, the placement of nuclear-armed Soviet offensive ballistic missiles in Fidel Castro's Cuba precipitates the Cuban Missile Crisis. This dangerous superpower confrontation brings the world perilously close to nuclear warfare. Fortunately, the crisis dissolves when Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev withdraws the Soviet ballistic missiles after much skillful political maneuvering by President John F. Kennedy and his national security advisers

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!

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