Early on 21 February 1962, Central Australian Time, Mercury Tracking Station Number 9, at Red Lake, Woomera, South Australia, tracked John Glenn as he became the first American to orbit the Earth.
This Department of Supply silent footage was shot in late 1961 or early 1962, as the NASA tracking network prepared for Friendship 7.
The same team of Flight Controllers was posted at Red Lake for MA-5 (the flight of Enos the Chimp) in November 1961, and MA-6 / Friendship 7 (John Glenn's three-orbit flight).
The audio was recorded at Red Lake, and preserved by Bill Miller. The audio used here is from the second orbit, with the exception of the comms check from Gene Kranz at the Cape at the start of the video – that was just before acquisition on John Glenn's first orbit.
Learn more about Red Lake / Woomera at honeysucklecreek.net/other_stations/red_lake/
Thanks to Glen Nagle at CDSCC for his loan of the S-VHS tapes with the archival footage, and to Ian Mackenzie for the transfer to digital format.
Thanks to Bill Miller for the audio, and for his transparency of the T&C building.
Thanks to Jan Delgado for her transparency of the FPS-16 radar.
Thanks to Gene Kranz and Dr Edwin M. Overholt for help with identification.