The Greatest of the Astronauts is Gone

At 95 John Glenn left us and his wife of more than 70 years, Annie, 96, behind.

If space travel had “founding fathers”, John would have been one of them. A fighter pilot from WW2 and the Korean War, John became one of the “Mercury Seven”: America’s first astronauts and John the first American to orbit our planet.

During his mission, experiencing trouble and having to take manual control, only to watch his craft’s heat shield burn up on re-entry, his pulse never went above 110. “Little bumpy up here.”

First words emerging from the capsule in the Atlantic, “It was hot in there.”

The “Mercury Seven” formed the first American manned space program. Each mission was solo and the seven astronauts named their ships themselves (thus the 7):

Alan Shepard: Freedom 7

Gus Grissom: Liberty Bell 7

John Glenn: Friendship 7

Scott Carpenter: Aurora 7

Wally Schirra: Sigma 7

Gordon Cooper: Faith 7

Deke Slayton: No Mercury flight, but went with Apollo-Soyuz in 1973

John went on to become a US senator for Ohio, and returned to Space one more time at the age of 77.

John Glenn was the last surviving member of the “Mercury Seven.”

A true American is lost.


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