Astronaut John Glenn turns 90 today. He was the first American to orbit Earth. When he
launched on the space shuttle in 1998, he became the oldest person to fly to space. From NASA:
After a distinguished flying career with the Marines in World War II
and Korea, Glenn joined NASA in 1959 as one of the country's first
astronauts in Project Mercury. On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the
Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first U.S. manned
orbital mission. He launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
Florida to successfully complete three orbits of the Earth.
Glenn flew to space again on the the STS-95 mission in 1998 aboard the
space shuttle Discovery. As a mission specialist, Glenn supported
deployment of a variety of research payloads and participated in
investigations about spaceflight and the aging process.
[Video Link: NASA's "The John Glenn Story," a film biography of the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. From the National Archives, this 30-minute feature explores Glenn's youth in New Concord, Ohio, his service as a combat pilot in World War II and the Korean War, and highlights of his momentous adventure as the pilot of Friendship 7. Film transcript here (PDF). ]