Biography John Glenn

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Stand up for the space pilot and hero, the man who flew the first manned mission to land on the moon, John H. Glenn Jnr.

Born in 1921, John Glenn ,moved to New Concord with his parents when he was just two years old, when his parent s built a large house, which also provide accommodation for students from local colleges. John loved it, having all these older friends around. His father and mother encouraged his studies very quickly developed an interest in flying and science. Shortly after he graduated from high school and college Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Being a devout patriot, John immediately enlisted in the Navel Aviation programme and qualified as a Marine pilot. During the rest of World War two, and the Korean conflict that followed shortly afterwards, John flew nearly 150 missions, for which he received many decorations, which included 6 DFC's.

After these conflicts ended John joined the US Test pilot ranks and became an acknowledged expert pilot, flying many of the prototype aircraft of the day, including the FJ3 and F8U. In 1957 he set an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles in just three house 23 minutes. It was these sorts of feats that made him a natural choice for the developing space aviation programme in 1958.
America had already lost out to the Russians with one space achievement, that of putting a man into space, but they were not going to be denied their next aim, putting a man on the moon. On 20 February 1962, Glenn equalled the Russian experience when he became the first American to circumvent the earth which he did three times. He became an instant hero and Icon.

John stayed with NASA until 1964 but, when it became apparent that they were to be no more space flights for him, he retired from the marines and turned his attention to politics. Encouraged by JFK's brother Bobby, he decided to run for the Senate. The outcome was almost a forgone conclusion. He remained in politics until 1977, when he announced his retirement from public life. However, a year later he was invited to return to NASA to rejoin the space programme he had helped to create. On 29 October 1998, Glenn then became the oldest person ever to travel in space.
John Glenn was an inspiration to millions and will always be best remembered for his journeys beyond the earth. Without him space would not be so close.


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