Astronomy

Biography John Glenn



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John Glenn

In American history, John Hershal Glenn,Jr., is one of our most prominent figures. He has lived an extraordinary life.

Born in Cambridge, Ohio on July 18, 1921, John Glenn would begin an ordinary life and then grasp every opportunity that came his way, with gusto. John met and later married Anne, his high school sweetheart, when they played together in their high school band . They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. The time in between those birthdays, is simply outstanding.

John would study Chemistry at Muskeegee University in Ohio. With exemplary grades, he would not go unnoticed. In 1942, he served in the Naval Aviation Program and from that would earn a commission into the Unites States Marine Corp in 1943. John's flying ability was noticed from the first moment he sat in a plane. One of his earliest feats was being the first pilot to fly a transcontinental flight at supersonic speeds. He flew from Los Angeles to New York in 3 1/2 hours. A young boy was quoted as screaming to his Mom that, "It's the big one!" The sonic boom was so loud from John's plane, that the youth thought that a bomb had landed nearby!

John served in WWII and the Korean War. He ran over 50 missions in each war. John became so notorious that his plane was often targeted by enemy fire. On many occasions, John's plane would return to base with over 200 bullet holes riddling his aircraft.

NASA did not overlook this young man's, exceptional, talent. The Mercury project for the United States, was just moving into full force. John Glenn would be an integral part of NASA's plans. In 1962, John Glenn would be the first man to orbit the earth. When asked about his experience John said," I don't know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets."

While he worked at NASA, John became very interested in the political arena. So interested, he would become great friends with John and Jackie Kennedy. He would be devastated at his friends assassination. It was John Glenn, at Jackie's request, who would inform the Kennedy children, John Jr. and Caroline, that their father had been killed. Three weeks later, John Glenn would retire from space travel. At least for a while.

Now John was ready to try his hand at a Democratic seat in the Senate. This would prove to be a bigger struggle that he probably had planned. After losing in his first attempt, John would be elected U.S. Senator in 1974. While there were no great moments in his career in politics, it is another moment of greatness for a life that was full of outstanding accomplishments .

In 1998, John Glenn would return as a face of NASA. He was selected to return to space travel aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. He would be the subject for how weightlessness effected elderly people. He was 77 years old. This would mark 3.6 million space miles traveled by John Glenn and 36 years between his first and last space odyssey.

John Glenn has received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is named for him, as well as, The Colonel Glenn Highway near Dayton, Ohio. The John Glenn High School also stand as a memorial to Mr. Glenn.

In ordinary lives, John Glenn's accomplishments would certainly be classified as extraordinary. He has been a successful military officer, an astronaut, an author and a United States Senator, as well as, the oldest person in space, ever. Each one, no small feat. However, both he and his wife are still living today. They have remained married all these years. The success of a life well lived and a marriage that spans multiple decades, is cause for applause. John lives with his wife Anne in Ohio.




resources nasa.gov.

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