John Glenn's Watch

John Glenn's Watch

John Glenn's Watch

"The Clock is Running"

With these words John Glenn started his stopwatch as he became the first American astronaut to achieve orbital flight in his Mercury capsule, Friendship 7, on February 20, 1962.

This stopwatch manufactured by Tag-Heuer of Switzerland, was modified with elastic bands to fit over the sleeve of Glenn’s spacesuit. After the failure of other brand of watches on the earlier flights of Alan Shepherd and Virgil "Gus" Grissom, the Tag-Heuer was selected by NASA due to its ability to withstand the high G-forces of liftoff. This stopwatch is on display in the Museum’s Apollo exhibit in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame Gallery. It is on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum.

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