A Milestone Anniversary In Discovering Outer Space
Before he represented his native state of Ohio as a U.S. Senator, John Glenn was an astronaut who was part of "The Mercury 7" ensemble of men who took the task at hand in bench marking future developments in space travel that kept The United States as a key player in exploring new terrain outside the planet Earth and eventually would result in man's first landing on the moon in 1969.
Glenn's major contribution deemed him as the first American to complete three successful orbits around Earth. Today marks the 58th anniversary of this milestone event as Friendship 7 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. His flight took a total of 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds before successfully splashing down 800 miles southeast of Cape Kennedy. The accomplishment also re-established The National Aeronautic and Space Administration's placement as a major contender in securing it's spot in the space race with the former Soviet Union.
Friendship 7's mission also accelerated future efforts with Project Mercury which also led a precursor for Projects Gemini and Apollo and also served as a key component in further human space flights which also included the milestone Apollo 11 mission.
Some facts regarding the flight of Friendship 7 courtesy of Wikipedia: Glenn traveled for a total of 75,679 miles translated into 17,500 miles per hour, a maximum altitude of 162 miles and a minimum altitude of 100 miles. He became the third American and fifth human to travel in outer space.
Three days after making space history, President John F. Kennedy gave Glenn The NASA Distinguished Service medal and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York's "Canyon Of Heroes". 16 years later, President Jimmy Carter awarded him with The Congressional Space Medal Of Honor.
John Glenn passed away in 2016. He was 95 years young. His memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting as those memorable accomplishments and service to his country will NEVER be forgotten.
(Portions of this retrospective were used as background from Wikipedia and an article courtesy of Stephen J. Garber)