John Glenn Returns to Space
John Glenn Returns to Space
On October 28, 1998, John Glenn returned to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. At the age of 77, he was the oldest person to go into space.
Born on July 18, 1921, John Glenn served with the Marines during World War II, flying 59 combat missions in the South Pacific. He went on to fly another 63 missions during the Korean War, twice returning to his base with more than 250 enemy anti-aircraft bullet holes in his plane.
Flying was a passion for Glenn and during peacetime he was appointed to test pilot school. In April 1959, Glenn was one of seven men chosen to take part in NASA’s Project Mercury. Three years later, the spacecraft Friendship 7 blasted into space with Glenn inside the capsule. On February 20, 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Upon his return Glenn was a national hero, with his own ticker-tape parade and a service medal awarded by President Kennedy.
Glenn must have thought his space flight days were over when he resigned from NASA shortly after his friend John Kennedy was assassinated. The former astronaut began his political career in 1974, when he was elected to represent his home state of Ohio in the U.S. Senate. He held that position for about 24 years, until he was 78 years old.
One day during his term as Senator, while reading a book on space physiology, the idea occurred to Glenn that a study examining the effects of weightlessness on older people could be beneficial. NASA officials weren’t convinced, and neither was Glenn’s wife, Annie. But after two years of lobbying and being found in good health, Glenn began preparing for the journey.
Thirty-six years after he blasted into the skies aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn returned to space on October 29, 1998, as part of mission STS-95. Glenn, then 77, spent nine days on the shuttle Discovery. A member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Glenn hoped his journey would help researchers learn more about the effects of aging. In addition to these tests, Glenn served as the flight’s photographer and videographer.
Glenn’s heart and respiration rates, blood volume, and blood pressure were monitored regularly throughout the flight. Scientists analyzed the results, especially his immune system function and protein levels. Glenn’s sleep cycles were also measured and compared to readings that were taken before liftoff. He was given another battery of tests when he returned home. Glenn was also honored with another ticker-tape parade upon his return to earth.
Click here for a video about space mission STS-95.
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8 responses to "John Glenn Returns to Space "
8 thoughts on “John Glenn Returns to Space ”
Godspeed John Glenn!
I grew up with my father working with these things at RCA Camden, New Jersey !
Space, the final frontier.
Courage despite age for benefit of society. Great story. Rare human.
Nice try but this is putting lipstick on a pig. John Glenn’s second mission was of limited value because it was a contrivance to reward him for protecting Bill Clinton from the Republicans in the Senate. I grew up admiring John Glenn so it was disappointing to see him cap his public life with the barter of his ethics and values for an expensive carnival ride.
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A true American Hero.
NASA’s space program was in serious decline and Mr. Glenn responded with a publicity stunt. I had not intentionally watched a launch in years but was drawn to this one along with thousands of others on the beach and bridges in Jacksonville. Along with many other titles he has held ,( Senator, marine) he is most well known as an astronaut.