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Space United States Earth Science Technology

John Glenn, First American To Orbit The Earth, Dies At 95 (npr.org) 113

BenBoy writes: John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 -- December 8, 2016) was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. He was one of the "Mercury Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft. He passed away today at age 95.
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John Glenn, First American To Orbit The Earth, Dies At 95

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  • by sh00z ( 206503 ) <sh00z@yaho o . c om> on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:27PM (#53448561) Journal
    Ad astra per aspera.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:31PM (#53448579)
      Some people waste their lives, or never really accomplish anything. John Glenn was not one of those people.
      • Some people waste their lives, or never really accomplish anything. John Glenn was not one of those people.

        I heard a variation on that that went something like, "Most people wonder if they've made the world better than they left it, a Marine is not one of those people."

        Semper Fi, Colonel, you are relieved of your duties.

        • by quenda ( 644621 )

          "Most people wonder if they've made the world better than they left it, a Marine is not one of those people."

          Marines kill and destroy without asking questions. Whether that makes the world better or worse is out of their control.
          You can be a hero and kill a hundred Japs, only to capture an airstrip that is never used.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          Or worse yet, be on the aggressor side and lose.

    • RIP

      For some reason, when I first saw this, I was thinking of Buzz Aldrin, who left Antarctica after getting sick some days ago.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Godspeed, and may Perth light your way on your final journey.

  • I remember... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by surfdaddy ( 930829 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:32PM (#53448587)

    I remember as a kid of 5 in kindergarten seeing crude animation live on TV as John Glenn orbited the earth. I also remember his return flight on the Shuttle when he was in his late '70s. In between he was a Senator. What a magnificent American and human being. Why don't we seem to see more of those types of people in public life today?

    • Re:I remember... (Score:5, Informative)

      by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:39PM (#53448627)
      Not to mention the first cross country supersonic flight. The man had balls of steel.
    • Re:I remember... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by robinsonne ( 952701 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:46PM (#53448683)
      Because now we're so risk-averse we can't even let kids play in the park by themselves without the parents getting arrested.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by e r ( 2847683 )
        Or expose college students to ideas that they disagree with without also providing them a safe space and reassuring them that those nasty people over there are definitely mysogynistic racist bigoted homophobic nazis and nobody likes those guys at all and you're so special, little snowflake.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          It is worth noting that many of the students demanding their "safe spaces" have been the "mysogynistic racist bigoted homophobic nazis" objecting to teachers challenging their worldview:

          http://www.revelist.com/us-news/liberal-professors-the-watchlist/5965

          The "safe spaces" idea is a generic rejection of challenge, and is not really associated with one worldview or another.

        • by peetm ( 781139 )

          Or expose college students to ideas that they disagree with without also providing them a safe space and reassuring them that those nasty people over there are definitely mysogynistic racist bigoted homophobic nazis and nobody likes those guys at all and you're so special, little snowflake.

          Hear hear!

    • Because the public doesn't care about them. There's no space race going on today. There are no commies to compete with. There are no new worlds to explore.

      • Nonsense, you have new heroes. Fine upstanding American consumers to look up to like the Kardashians and Trump - did you see his diamond encrusted gold door? Keep drinking the Kool aid dummies.

    • Most insightful of the comments that got the mod. More deserving if you considered the topic a bit more broadly, for example by appealing to the orange counterexample who is about to occupy the White House.

      I think the answers to your question largely revolve around economic models. Or you might prefer to see the situation in terms of the "military-industrial complex" that Ike warned us about, but I still think that's just another version of the money thing. I don't want to call it a "money problem" because

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Back when safe space travel was really a wing and a prayer. Sail on brave soul.
  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nosduharabrab>> on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:38PM (#53448621) Journal
    John Glenn wasn't just "one of the Mercury astronauts." He was the first American to orbit the earth, as well as the last Mercury astronaut to die.
    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Health benefits of leaving the planet confirmed!

      • Health benefits of leaving the planet confirmed!

        Lived to 95. That ain't so bad.

      • Considering that the Apollo astronauts had a higher than normal risk of cardiovascular disease, leaving the protection of the earth's magnetosphere kind of f*cks you over.
    • Plus the oldest person to be shot into space, and the only payload specialist (on that flight) that I know of that was his own payload (his job was to see how space flight affects old people).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Few people could dream of comparing to what he accomplished, exploring to the very end..

  • This was a hero (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:49PM (#53448713) Homepage

    John Glenn was a U.S. Marine fighter pilot who flew 59 combat missions over the South Pacific during WWII and 63 combat missions during the Korean War. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism or extraordinary achievement six times! In Korea, he got the nickname "magnet ass" because he attracted so much enemy flak on his missions.

    Oh, and then he went on to become a test pilot, the first American to orbit the Earth, a U.S. senator and then the oldest man to go into space.

    He stopped flying planes at age 90.

    "The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel." John Glenn.

    If you're looking for someone children can look up to, he's it.

    • by cfsops ( 2922481 )

      If you're looking for someone children can look up to, he's it.

      Absolutely. Someone that anyone can look up to. I hope I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem that we are able to make people like that anymore.

  • by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @06:05PM (#53448835)
    I took my daughter to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum when she was 7. John Glenn was there on his birthday showing some people around. I think he had turned 89 or 90 and he really could move around quickly. He was very friendly and I was able to get a picture of him with my daughter. She was so excited to have been able to meet an actual astronaut. My wife and I got a chuckle out of the young security guard that was with him. When people asked who he was, he said that he was the worlds oldest astronaut.
    • My wife and I got a chuckle out of the young security guard that was with him. When people asked who he was, he said that he was the worlds oldest astronaut.

      You misunderstood what the security guard meant. Glenn was the oldest person to ever go into space when he flew aboard Discovery on STS-95 [nasa.gov] in 1998. He was 77.

      • You misunderstood what the security guard meant. Glenn was the oldest person to ever go into space when heÂflew aboard Discovery on STS-95Âin 1998. He was 77.

        I understood him perfectly well, and knew exactly what he meant. It's just a difference in the way different generations think of someone. It's similar to how people remember Ron Glass. Even though I watched Firefly, I remember him more from watching him play Detective Ron Harris on Barney Miller. My younger friends have no idea what Barney Miller was.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pffft. That's preposterous! Another step closer to moving past this 'round-earth' propaganda that's been spreading since the 60s.

    Wake up sheeple!!!

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @09:52PM (#53449977)
    Ok, this will show my age... I don't really remember it, but my parents (who will NOT allow me to have it), have a photo of me during Glenn's historic flight. I was doing the "potty training" back in '62 and didn't want to miss the flight, so I grabbed my potty chair, brought it into the living room, sat it right in front of the television set (glorious old Zenith black & white 19" model) and we BOTH had a blast off. They have shown me the photo from time to time over the past 50 odd years. I'm just glad I grew up in the era BEFORE smartphones/youtube/social media, so I don't have THAT following me around like the younger generation does today.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong

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