Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Jun 9, 2021
The Space Race & The Dangerous Early Days Of NASA
Play • 47 min
On the morning of Feb. 20, 1962, about 100,000 spectators gathered in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to witness the launch of the Friendship 7, the United States' first mission to put an astronaut in orbit around the Earth. Historian Jeff Shesol says there was real fear that astronaut John Glenn wouldn't survive the day. We talk with Shesol about the early days of NASA, and how the Cold War pushed the U.S. space program to its limits. His book is 'Mercury Rising.'

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