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Old 02-20-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
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"Godspeed John Glenn"

These words preceded the launch of John Glenn into orbit as the 1st US astronaut to orbit the Earth. Astronaut John Glenn, Jr. was shoe horned into the Friendship 7 capsule for his flight on the Mercury Titan rocket that occurred on February 20, 1962. During the flight, Glenn was made aware that a problem with the re-entry shield might exist so I expect that John was thinking that his flight was going to be a glorious one. Everyone was elated when Friendship 7 reported the chutes and folks resumed breathing.

John Glenn flew again on Discovery at age 77 extending his legacy to the US manned space program.

Truly the Mercury 7 astronauts had the "Right Stuff' and I am glad that we still have Glenn and Carpenter here with us to share their adventures during a time when getting a man launched into space was in doubt.

Before 911, I was fortunate to visit the launch complex where Glenn took off. LC-14 was over grown and inglorious in appearance but if one uses their power of recollection, what happened there seem to jump to life all over again. I was 13 years old at the time and I was glued to the B&W TV set and this was a moment in time that I am glad to have experienced.

No more moving words were spoken by the NASA's Scott Carpenter and "Yes," God did speed John Glenn.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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Thanks for the memory. I was also 13 and was delivering newspapers and asked some of my customers if I could peak in at their TV so I wouldn't miss it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Great memories. It's just hard to imagine the courage it took for him/them to climb into those little capsules mounted on top of those rockets which had been blowing up quite regularly until then.

The Right Stuff is right!

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Old 02-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Just read an article about this. Those words were spoken by Scott Carpenter. Before he said Godspeed he said "remember John this was built by the low bidder". Carpenter and Glenn are the only living members of the original Mercury 7.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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While in the capsule awaiting "blast off", It is easy to imagine the battle between fear and courage going on in his mind.

Words do a poor job of describing the mental toughness John Glenn possessed.

Kerry
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
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I still remember all of us 2nd graders being herded into the CafeGymnasAtorium at Pleasant Plains Elementary School in Towson, MD to watch John Glenn on his flight in 1962. Actually we got to watch all the Mercury and Gemini flights this way. What an exciting time that was......
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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I still remember all of us 2nd graders being herded into the CafeGymnasAtorium at Pleasant Plains Elementary School in Towson, MD to watch John Glenn on his flight in 1962. Actually we got to watch all the Mercury and Gemini flights this way. What an exciting time that was......
It sure brings back a lot of memories.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
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I worked the TV side of his 'return to space' Shuttle Flight in 98. DW had purchased a new video camera and was with me. She inadvertently pressed 'pause' as the ground shook when STS-95 lifted off.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Words do a poor job of describing the mental toughness John Glenn possessed.

Kerry
I remember Alan Shepard being asked about space flight being frightening. He responded that it was nothing compared to trying to land a fighter on the deck of an aircraft carrier... in a storm... at night.

Where have all the real heroes gone?

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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Where have all the real heroes gone?
Rick, They are still here and work hard at it everyday. Carrier pilots are an amazing breed and the night landing procedure hasn't changed much since the 1940s. Landing on a carrier at night with the deck blacked out has got to take superhuman talent to negotiate.

I would expect that the electronics have improved over time however when you have to take over visually and land after calling the ball that is the hairy part and I commend those guys for making this process look easy but it's not.

Navy/Marine pilots as well as all of our other military pilots are my kind of heroes every day of the week.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DriVer;
Navy/Marine pilots as well as [U
all[/U] of our other military pilots are my kind of heroes every day of the week.
And their ability to understate the risks cracks me up...my high school buddy, a retired Marine F-18 pilot of 20+ years only said "it's better than Disney World". Ya think?
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