(US Marine Corps) John Hershel Glenn was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida,
on board the Friendship 7 spaceship in front of 100,000 spectators and
millions watching on television.
went round the planet three times in a mission that would last five hours. The
craft, traveling at 17,500 miles an hour, had to be switched over to manual by
Glenn when it started to malfunction towards the end of the trip.
the end of the mission a heat shield was thought to be loose and when Glenn slammed
back into Earth's atmosphere the reentry caused him to lose radio contact with
ground control. For four long minutes mission control could not speak to Glenn,
but they were to regain contact. He splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was
picked up by the destroyer Noa. His first comments were:
was hot in there."
became a national hero, was met by President Kennedy and got a ticker tape parade
in New York City on 23rd February.
1998, 77 year-old Glenn served as a payload specialist on board Space Shuttle
Discovery. On 29th October 1998 he became the oldest human (to that date) ever
to go into space.