21 thoughts on “John Glenn, 1921-2016

  1. Amazing what some people will do to avoid a Trump presidency.
    (I know that was bad – no offense intended, John Glenn.)

  2. No apology or explanation needed, Doug.  He just went to space.  You spent moments in the shoes of Gandhi.  If he even wore shoes. It is a metaphor anyway.

  3. Bernie – I beg to differ with you. Glenn and his fellow astronauts were test pilots. They bet their lives every flight, but they bet that their skill was greater than the unknown failure that would test them. In the early space program, they were largely passengers. They had no flight controls – this is more terrifying to a pilot than a passenger-flyer can imagine.

    No control. Big risk. And they did it. Glenn went on to show his patriotism and intellect were on a par with his courage. The comparison is flattering, but unearned.

  4. RIP John Glenn!
    You were made of the “right stuff” – and, in Carl Sagan’s words, “star-stuff.”

    Tom Wolfe’s great book about the Mercury/Apollo astonauts humanized them – and between the book and the great movie, we found we liked and repsected them and their efforts even more!

    Greg Lake also passed away.
    2016 was a sucky year.

    My Mom has surgery later today – an endoscopy to relieve pain from liver bile-duct stones – so please keep your fingers crossed, and keep her in your thoughts.
    It’s not considered “major” surgery. But, when you’re 84 1/2 years-old, ALL surgery is major!
    And when it’s your Mom, it’s even MORE MAJOR!!!

  5. There was a time when America was great, and men and women like John Glenn made it great. The seven Mercury astronauts were like gods to the boys and girls of my generation.

    I went to Cape Canaveral a couple of decades ago. They had a Mercury capsule on display. You could walk right up to it and touch it if you wanted. The thing that struck me was that it looked like something you could build in your garage. The materials were first class, braided stainless steel tubing and who knows what sort of alloys. But, as I recall, some of the fasteners looked a lot like pop rivets. They were evidently, a better class of pop rivets, but, it would take a brave man to sit in that tin can. It was a hand built affair, at least by the look of it.

    One of my most treasured memories is of Alan Shepard’s flight. I went to a tiny, rural school. They only way we could take part in the moment was for our whole class,
    (about 15 kids) march out to our teacher’s car. She turned the radio on, and we all stood around in silence, with our mouths open with a sense that the world had no limits.

    “We that are young, shall never see so much, nor live so long.” I am going to miss that old man, and the world he inhabited.

    • Yesterday one of my Facebook friends said that his little daughter asked who John Glenn was; she didn’t know. And that made him cry.

  6. goatherd …I have similar memories. I got to watch John Glenn’s recovery from the Mercury capsule on a b&w television set up in our school cafeteria. It’s strange to reminisce back to those days. It seems like a whole other life or life time ago.
    One memory of those days that stands out in particular for me is attending the official roll out ceremony for the F-105 fighter jet back in the late 50’s. My father worked for Republic Aviation as part of the design team for that jet. As a little kid it was such a Buck Rogers experience it became firmly etched in my memory. I also remember playing in the fields as a child and hearing sonic booms as the jet age dawned in America.
    I got to see the Mercury capsule at Cape Canaveral also. When you mention about the tinny and almost homemade quality of the capsule I had the the same thought, but my thought was more about the space shuttle. I wasn’t sure if the shuttle was an actual shuttle or some tourist trap constructed to give visitors a sense of what the space shuttle was like. It was an actual space shuttle mounted as a permanent display. The design and craftsmanship was kinda rudimentary, but, it did the job. I guess I was expecting something similar in design to the dashboard of a 1963 Chrysler New Yorker…Totally space age design with a lot of orbs.

  7. One of our very old friend’s mother was an astronomer for NASA. She just posted that her mother was the official astronomer for Glenn’s flight and he became friends with her parents afterwards. Evidently, there were two people in line before her, but the flight was delayed a few times and the fickle finger of fate landed on her mom. She got to solve the mystery of floating luminous objects surrounding the capsule. She figured out that they were dust sized objects that originated with the capsule and were iced up and in synchronized orbit. The life of an astronomer can be very rewarding, especially when suddenly it’s the first day of school again.

    Swami: I don’t think the space shuttle was there yet when I visited. But, I’ve heard that the metal skin on the LEMs was so thin due to weight reduction, that you could puncture it if you weren’t careful.

    I guess it’s time to watch “Apollo 13” again.

  8. We took our eldest son to the Space Museum after the moon landings. They had a moon rock on display–in pincers, but not enclosed in plexiglass. He reached in and stroked that rock for a good while. I think that’s when he decided to be an astronaut. Neither of his parents wanted to hold his hand on the way out. And thus I missed my chance to come into contact with a few moon rock molecules.

    At 17, when his first pair of glasses washed him out of the air force. he went into a year long depression. And then proceeded–double major in physics and astronomy, which he figured might be able to back him into the space program. It didn’t. But he did get his Ph D in plasma physics.

    Sometimes, it gets really up close and personal. . . .

    Wish we had a few Senator Glenns in Congress now.

  9. &#lg.0;3i8le2als in our country so they can continue to take jobs meant for Americans; Obama turned down the Keystone Pipeline which would have created thousands of jobs; Obama claims he is raising taxes only on the wealthy when in fact after ObamaCare gets implemented the cost of healthcare is going to go up $2500 per year for the middle class; his policies are causing the closure of coal mines across America leaving thousands unemployed and causing the price of electricity to go up.You want that?

  10. Latasha,
    Thank you for listing the (DUMB)FUX “news,” Drudge, other internet sources, Reich-Wing talk radio, and Op-Ed talking points (aka: propaganda).

    (***WARNING: SNARK ALERT!!!***):
    We liberals never heard them before .

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