Based on the original transcript

The second important moment in America's entry to the space race, Mercury-Atlas 6 saw pilot John Glenn perform three orbits of the Earth in a five hour flight, becoming the third man in orbit after Russians Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov the previous year.

This site allows you to explore transcripts of radio communications between John Glenn aboard Friendship 7 and the NASA personnel at monitoring stations around the world, along with photographs taken both from the ground and by Glenn in space.

How the site works

The main textual content of this site comes from a transcript of radio communications between the crew and mission control; there are some limitations which stem from the original recordings.

Each line starts with a timestamp, in Ground Elapsed Time, which is the time (in days, hours, minutes and seconds or some subset for shorter missions or where we don't have timestamps down to the second) since lift off; photographs are shown inline at a suitable place. You can navigate through the transcript using the phases of the mission, and key scenes within them, or search for things that might interest you using the box at the top of the page. While browsing through the transcript, there are also links that take you to the same place in the original typescript.

Call signs

The Mercury capsule's callsign through the mission is Friendship 7; the CAPCOMs' call signs are location-dependent; for instance, “Muchea Cap Com” is Gordon Cooper.

You can help

This site can be improved, and you can help — whether by correcting remaining errors (although we hope there aren't many left), by adding more photos, or marking further glossary items. The easiest way to report small errors, suggest new photos and so forth, is by dropping us an email to [email protected].

There are always other missions in the pipeline. If you'd like to help get them cleaned up and published, there's a simple guide to getting involved, or if you're more technical all our code, and the transcript files, is available on GitHub, where there is information on how to get up and running. (If you're up to it, you can even fork the repository, and issue a pull request to us when you're done.)

Find out how

The Team




Post-fort development

Data cleanup

  • David Brownlee
  • Peter Dufault
  • Russ Garrett
  • Jeff Hlywa
  • Benjamin Levine
  • Dananjaya Ramanayke
  • Trent VanDenBerghe

A /dev/fort production; our work is available under the CC-0 licence.


Original transcripts


League Gothic


Joseph Wain of


Other images are from NASA or are otherwise in the public domain.

Other software