John Glenn was born in Ohio in 1921. He was a Marine, a fighter pilot and test pilot before he became an astronaut as well as a US senator. That is a lot of jobs!
In 1959 NASA chose seven men to by the country’s first astronauts. John was one of them and he became the first American to orbit the Earth. His space capsule was called the Friendship 7. During his mission scientists learned many things that helped them figure out how to send a manned spacecraft to the moon.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton invited John to be an astronaut again on a space shuttle mission. He was 77 years old and became the oldest person in space! He helped NASA learn again by showing what happens to an older person during space travel.
John Glenn died yesterday, December 8, 2016. He was 95 years old.
“I suppose the one quality in an astronaut more powerful than any other is curiosity. They have to get some place nobody’s ever been.” ~ John Glenn
- NASA: Who is John Glenn?
|Artifact from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Mercury GI Joe – America’s entry into the space race with the Soviet Union came with the 1958 creation of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the introduction of Project Mercury in 1959. NASA chose to be the first astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grisson, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. They become known as the Mercury Seven. Hasbro’s 1997 GI Joe line commemorated the history of spaceflight by issuing a Mercury astronaut GI Joe, honoring those pioneering astronauts. GI Joe was the first well known action figure made for boys. In the late 1970s, the three and a half inch GI Joe became popular and less expensive.|