In memory of an American hero

After John Glenn’s successful orbit of the Earth in 1962, his re-entry-scorched Mercury capsule was sent on a tour of American military bases around the world. It was an opportunity that Dad, probably an Air Force staff sergeant at the time, was not going to let his family miss.

I remember staring at the capsule in awe, in part because I could almost reach out and touch something that had actually been to space and back, a mind-blowing thought at the time. And even to a little boy, the capsule seemed impossibly small to have carried a full-grown man into history as it did.

It’s hard to exaggerate the guts, bravado and faith required of Glenn and his fellow Mercury astronauts. They had, as author Tom Wolfe put it, “The Right Stuff.” (One of the original seven, Gus Grissom, was killed along with two colleagues in a launchpad accident in 1967.) Asked about how it felt to be sitting in the capsule, waiting for the rocket beneath him to ignite, Glenn said he “felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of two million parts — all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract.”

After a long and honorable career in politics, Glenn even returned to space many years later, at the age of 77.

This week, 95-year-old John Glenn left us again, this time for true “final frontier.” In his memory, here’s David Bowie, himself a casualty of 2016, performing his 1969 hit “Space Oddity.”

 

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54 comments
Menace
Menace

Godspeed John Glenn

barkingfrog
barkingfrog

A lot of good guys

going away...hard

to replace them.

Buttercup23
Buttercup23

RIP John Glenn, you were an awesome human being..

Bruno2
Bruno2

Looks like the Beatles have blocked "Across the Universe" from being played on youtube.  I guess I'll have to go with skydog's favorite band for a cover version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCWABNJw0HU

As for the reeeeest of the story, the chick I took to see Seether a few years ago ended up in jail for running over her former boyfriend.  I guess I was lucky to escape unscathed.....

Bruno2
Bruno2

@skydog12 One of my first cars was a '68 Oldsmobile with a 455 "Rocket" engine.  When you stomped on the gas pedal, you could see the gas gauge move a little.  On a good day it got 8 mpg.

TBS
TBS

" It’s hard to exaggerate the guts, bravado and faith required of Glenn and his fellow Mercury astronauts"

That's an understatement but oh so true.

fatleo
fatleo

What this country needs right now is more of the John Glenn type, not fewer ...Hats off tonight to you John Glenn ...

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

I wish my Dad has loaded us up to see a moon flight launch.  That Saturn 5 must have been a sight to behold.

I did have the opportunity to see a Shuttle launch from the KSC Causeway.  Most impressive thing I have ever witnessed.
During the 30 seconds it took for the sound pressure wave to travel the 6 miles from the launch site to the Causeway, the only sound was people sobbing from being so overcome by the spectacle. 


When I looked at the Mercury capsule like Glenn flew in at the museum, my thought was to wonder how the hell they got his nads in that little can.


To all the spacemen and women:


https://youtu.be/0dPys1cmlfM


stefpe
stefpe

@_GodlessHeathen_ "my thought was to wonder how the hell they got his nads in that little can"

Excellent point..

gapeach101
gapeach101

Thanks for sharing the memory Jay.

stefpe
stefpe

The first time I saw one of those Mercury capsules, my first thought may have been "that damn thing doesn't look much more solid than a beer can". It just completely blew my mind that someone had been to space and back in that thing.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I saw a Bentley in Buckhead.

Bruno One is what the license plate said.

I pulled up and shouted Bruno2

The driver looked at me askew.

At least I paid off my bet.

Selah.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

No music, just this:

John Glenn

This is Friendship Seven. I’ll try to describe what I’m in here. I am in a big mass of some very small particles, that are brilliantly lit up like they’re luminescent. I never saw anything like it. They round a little; they’re coming by the capsule, and they look like little stars. A whole shower of them coming by.

00 01 15 57

God Speed! 

Bruno2
Bruno2

Not exactly on par with the astronauts, but I saw an interesting 30 for 30 episode on ESPN last year called "Angry Sky" about a guy from New Jersey named Nick Piantanida who attempted to perform a parachute jump at 120,000 feet, nearly 23 miles above the Earth.  Unfortunately, things didn't go well and he died a few months later due to massive brain damage caused by lack of oxygen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Piantanida

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Hey. Good to see ya. Enough about Trump voters. How bout a Bruno limerick?

Airdale
Airdale

As someone tangentially and occasionally directly associated with the aerospace program of this country, I can say that John Glenn was larger than life to most of us.  He has now permanently "slipped those surly bonds" and we are now somewhat less.  RIP.

Peachs
Peachs

In sixth grade watching on a black and white television with antenna, now some of us, private citizens, are getting seat reservations to go themselves.  

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Peachs I watched the moon landing while at summer camp in 1969 on a small black and white TV.

skydog12
skydog12

@Peachs


I ain`t going. I have no desire to jump the Snake River Canyon either.