CNN’s Light Years blog has a great interview with John Glenn on the 50th Anniversary of his historic orbit around the Earth. What’s happened to our space program is a travesty – I hope that this anniversary will be an opportunity to reinvest in our manned space flight programs.
The space race
I asked Glenn what was going through his head while he sat in that Mercury capsule waiting to lift off. It seemed like the whole world was talking about the race with Moscow to dominate space and rising Cold War tensions.
No, he said. He didn’t feel any pressure from the space race or the Cold War. The Soviet Union had already orbited a man around the world, Glenn told me.
He was absorbed in the task at hand.
“You just wanted to do the best job you could do,” he said.
There was no time then to think about the bigger picture.
Everything was a “change of status,” Glenn said. “Check the pressures. Change of status. It lights and you’re going, ‘Change of status. Do I have orbital speed? Change of status.’ ”