John Glenn: America's Astronaut
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In February 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Since then John Herschel Glenn Jr. has stood in the popular imagination as a quintessentially American hero. In John Glenn: America's Astronaut, a special edition e-book featuring 45 stunning photographs as well as a video, Chaikin explores Glenn's path to greatness. John Glenn features new details on Glenn's selection as an astronaut in 1959, newly synchronized onboard film and audio of Glenn's harrowing reentry from orbit on his 1962 Mercury mission, rarely seen images of Glenn in orbit and from the John Glenn archives at Ohio State University, as well as new, touching reminiscenes of Glenn's 1998 return to space from his Space Shuttle crewmates. Glenn is the embodiment of the history of human spaceflight and the indefatigable American spirit, and John Glenn: America's Astronaut is his amazing story.
Flight.” Cape Flight was Chris Kraft. Glenn knew he had little choice but to go along with the decision; Kraft and his people must have good reasons for it. And a minute later, as he flew within range of Cape Canaveral for the final time, Shepard finally told him what was going on. “We are not sure whether or not your landing bag has deployed. We feel it is possible to reenter with the retropackage on. We see no difficulty at this time in that type of reentry.” “Roger, understand,” Glenn
along with a friend in the hotel business, invested in some Holiday Inn franchises, which ultimately would make him a millionaire. In 1967, Glenn traveled to Africa to follow the trail of Stanley and Livingston for the “Great Explorations” TV series. Glenn rekindled his interest in politics in 1968, when Bobby Kennedy ran for president. Glenn was with him from the beginning, supporting the close friend he would later call “one of the most compassionate people I ever knew.” And he was with him
something. It was getting close to bedtime. And John wasn’t around. So I floated up to the flight deck. He had the lights off, and he was looking up through the window at the Earth, and there were thunderstorms down there. And I said, ‘John, what are you doing?’ And he said, ‘I’m at church.’ ” Taking in the sights outside Discovery’s window. THERE WAS NO FIREBALL as Discovery reentered the atmosphere on November 7, just a bright orange and pink glow, and down in the middeck, Glenn, Chiaki
astronauts, life changed overnight. They were instant celebrities who found themselves on the cover of LIFE magazine. And they were plunged into an effort whose intensity and scope rivaled a military campaign. Each of them was assigned a specific piece of the project. Deke Slayton, for example, followed the development of the Atlas booster that would launch them on the first orbital flights. Gus Grissom immersed himself in design of the automatic and manual systems for controlling the
in the full realization of what was about to happen. The Flight of Friendship 7 On Pad 14 at the Air Force’s Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral, a 65-foot Atlas rocket gleamed in the winter sunlight. Atop it was Glenn’s Mercury capsule, crowned with its orange escape rocket, making the entire vehicle 93 feet tall. It was the power of the Atlas that made Mercury possible. Originally conceived as the nation’s first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, the Atlas and its three engines,