John Glenn: A Memoir by John GlennHe was the first astronaut to orbit the Earth. Nearly four decades later, as the worlds oldest astronaut, his courage reveted a nation. But these two historical events only bracketed a life that covers the sweep of an extraordinary century.
John Glenns autobiography spans the seminal events of the twentieth century. It is a story that begins with his childhood in Ohio where he learned the importance of family, community, and patriotism. He took these values with him as a marine fighter pilot during World War II and into the skies over Korea, for which he would be decorated. Always a gifted flier, it was during the war that he contemplated the unlimited possibilities of aviation and its frontiers.
We see the early days of NASA, where he first served as a backup pilot for astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. In 1962 Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Then came several years in international business, followed by a twenty-four year career as a U.S. Senator-and in 1998 a return to space for his remarkable Discover mission at the age of seventy-seven.
John Glenn Fast Facts
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. The original Mercury 7 astronauts inspect an early design of a space module. In , Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. See more images at Life. Hide Caption. Glenn does his astronaut homework in Florida in
John H. Glenn Jr. She survives him. John Glenn was a U. He flew with baseball legend Ted Williams and his plane was riddled with bullets when he flew at low altitude. As a military test pilot in , Glenn broke the transcontinental air speed record, bursting from Los Angeles to New York City in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds.
Glenn had fallen in love with flying at an early age, building model airplanes while growing up in Ohio. In , Glenn discovered a U. Department of Commerce program looking for students to train as pilots. Just six months after he received his license, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Glenn initially enlisted in both the U. Army Air Corps and U. Navy aviation cadet program, but was eventually assigned to the U.