[LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson. #DIG13431-108]

[LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson. #DIG13431-108]

John Glenn has a life full of missions

Oct 31, 2012

by Pamela Cosel

[originally posted on kxan.com on October 31, 2012]

He has seen life and the world from a vantage point that few have – floating in the distant heavens in a man-made spacecraft, long before the time of “Star Wars” movies and galactic computer games.

In 1962, at age 39, John Glenn became the first man to orbit the Earth. But it was not the end of his outer space adventures.

At a time when most are retired or not healthy enough to fully live life, Glenn, at age 77, convinced the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to send him into outer space for a second time, to test his fortitude and gather scientific physical data about an older person.

That historic flight aboard “Discovery” happened 14 years ago on Monday.

Some may have called him crazy to take on those G-forces as a septuagenarian. To him, it was all part of his competitive nature.

Glenn spoke before a full auditorium Tuesday night at the LBJ Library Auditorium at The University of Texas campus. The talk was moderated by Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library and Museum.

Many in the audience were just children when Glenn made aeronautical history, and they were there to listen to their hero talk of his adventures, connecting with their pasts.

“It’s John Glenn – that’s why we came,” said Nancy Moore, an audience member. “Everybody grew up worshipping astronauts!” read more