Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tonight's Sky for October 29: John Glenn Returns to Space (1998)

It was on this date in 1998 that John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth (1962), returned to space at age 77 aboard the space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-95 mission. Because of the high publicity surrounding Glenn's participation in the mission, this was the first shuttle launch televised coast-to-coast. Additionally, the mission saw the first Spanish-born astronaut in space as Pedro Duque also took part on the mission. In addition to solar and the standard life science experiments, special focus was put on Glenn and the study of the aging process, both on Earth and in orbit. In all, the mission lasted just under 9 days. As for Glenn, he not only made it through the mission without any medical issues, but he also has stated that he really enjoyed his return to orbit, too.   

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