2012/02/20

50 years - Friendship 7 - John Glenn



Dear reader (if any), do you really think I'd let this anniversary go by without comment or observation?  I was exactly 2 weeks old as of February 20, 1962.  That puts my conception on or about May 2, 1961.  See here for events on May 5, 1961.  I am a child of the Space Age/Race.

John Glenn's Mission Patch:


For the official NASA "take" on the mission, go here.

A nice take on the subject by Space.com:





(Sorry for the tiny embed...blame Space.com.  Direct link here)

My take on it:

(Caution...this is where I assume most will fall asleep due to sheer boredom.  Be glad I got the more exciting stuff out of the way first)



My favorite GI Joe "action figure" (yes, I played with "dolls" too) was the Mercury astronaut complete with the Mercury spacecraft.   I remember taking that to 3rd grade for show and tell, along with the "nifty" vacuum formed record of the Friendship 7 flight audio.

For years, I spelled my middle name with 2 "n", thinking my parents named me after Mr. Glenn.  I found out at the "tender" age of 12 this wasn't so after seeing my birth certificate and getting my first Social Security card while in 6th grade.  I also developed myopia at the same time, thus disqualifying me from being a test pilot and hence an astronaut.  I decided then if I couldn't fly them, I'd design them.  Plan B (aerospace engineering, or "rocket scientist")  didn't pan out either, BTW.

The most successful college paper I wrote was on Beowulf, on the thesis of the single combatant warrior.  But actually, I got that idea from Tom Wolfe's, The Right Stuff.  Mr. Wolfe's fantastic observation was that the Mercury astronauts were dueling it out on the Nation's behalf against the Soviets. 

I also remember how cheesy and derivative it was when Sen. Glenn(D-OH) finagled a ride on STS-95 (10/29/98 to 11/7/98).  I say derivative because Sen. Garn(R-UT) finagled a ride on STS-51d (4/12 to 4/19/85).  Yet this did show me another way into space...just become rich - be elected to the U.S. Senate - and get on the right committee to start twisting arms.







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