NASA hopes to Put American Spaceman in Orbit by End of Year

Aug. 6, 1961 - The earliest the U.S. can now figure on putting a man in orbit is toward the end of the year, according to Project Mercury officials. They say they hope to make it, in any case, by early 1962. The timing will depend on how quickly the spaceflight team can accomplish two prior objectives: an unmanned one-orbit flight and a three-orbit flight with a chimpanzee aboard the capsule. The second orbiting of a Soviet astronaut caused little surprise among officials in Washington. Nevertheless, it is certain to intensify demands that the nation pay more attention to development of manned spaceships for possible military missions.

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