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U.S. Marks 50 Years Since Its First Space Flight

The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of the first flight of an American into orbit.

On February 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn took off from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas rocket to make three orbits around the Earth.

Glenn's flight followed by nearly a year the first manned voyage into space by Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin.

Ninety-year-old Glenn is marking his historic spaceflight with a series of events, including a chat with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Glenn flew again to space in 1998 at the age of 77, becoming the oldest person to fly into orbit.

Compiled from agency reports