Students Remember John Glenn



John Glenn sitting among NASA engineers including Robert Schepp.

Mary Claire Moriarity, Staff Writer

Marine Aviator. Senator. Professor. Astronaut. In John Glenn’s 95 years, he served his country through his numerous accomplishments. Among his triumphs as an astronaut, he served in two different wars as a pilot and  Among the first seven men to leave the atmosphere, Glenn excited America for the space program.

“He was a really respectable man in the way he handled himself in press interviews,” senior and astronomy student Melanie Kuster said. “If I ever became an astronaut he’s the person I’d want to be most like.”

Glenn’s first mission launched on Feb. 20, 1962, after spending about five hours in a three orbit flight he showed America that the spaceship was able to safely fly an astronaut around the globe. His bravery in his mission also helped NASA learn more about what it was like to be in space for longer than 15 minutes and 28 seconds.

John Glenn working with NASA employees on the ship.

“He really worked hard with what he was doing,” former NASA engineer Robert Schepp said. “Each of the first astronauts were assigned to a different aspect of the ship’s production, Glenn was assigned to the ships boosters. Every Time I heard him talk about it he seemed really into it..”

During the Mercury missions, the wives of the astronauts were always bombarded by press, including Glenn’s wife of 73 years, Annie Glenn. Even after being pressured to be interviewed by the then Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, J. Glenn stood by his wife’s choice not to due to her serious stutter.

“We read an article about him and his wife and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” junior Kalyn Neuwirth-Deutsch said. “He was talking about how he was the hero in America’s eyes, but she was the hero in his eyes. I almost started crying.”

On Oct. 29, 1998, J. Glenn flew his last flight on the shuttle Discovery at age 77, making him the oldest man to ever fly into space. The trip lasted nine days and orbited the earth 134 times. During his time in space he was studied on how aging affects space travel, focusing on balance, perception, immune system response, bone and muscle density, metabolism, blood flow and sleep.

“He was 95, and it was sad, but by golly he had one heck of a journey, that’s what I call our time on earth, ‘a journey’,” Schepp said. “He served his country the whole time: in the second world war, the Korean war, the space program, four terms as a senator, and he was in his 70s the last time they flew him to the space station. He’s going to be resting in peace because he had a wonderful life.”