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Nairobi Safari of that American Space Age Hero Late John Glenn | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Kenya) -- American Hero of the Space Age John Gless receiving New Era from editor Kul Bhushan.

 

Nairobi Safari of that American Space Age Hero Late John Glenn

NEW DELHI India -- Spaceman and Senator John Glenn, who died on 8 December 2016 at the age of 95, visited Nairobi at the peak of his fame in 1967 – five years after his first space odyssey, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Glenn was hailed as a hero of the space age as the first American to orbit earth and, astonishingly, returned to space voyage 36 years later.

He was also elected to the US Senate and served as a Senator for 24 years.

He stopped in Nairobi for a hero’s welcome from Kenyans and made it a point to visit Nairobi’s Riverbank Primary School which was opened in 1962, the year of his three-orbit flight round the earth.

No wonder a pupils’ house was named in his honour to inspire the 400-odd pupils.

He was thrilled to greet pupils of his Glenn House.

After a guard of honour by the staff and the pupils, he said this was his first visit to Africa although he had passed over the continent in his spacecraft Mercury three times.

He was presented with two copies of NEW ERA magazine for Young Kenyans by me as its editor; the issue highlighted his achievement and later published front-page news of his visit.

Starting his career as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korean War, he became a test pilot.

Glenn completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in an F8U Crusader for 2,445 miles (3,935 km) from Los Angeles to New York on 16 July 1957 in under 3½ hours, setting a new record for the fastest time.

Later, he trained at the newly established NASA for a space mission.

On 20 February 1962, he became the first American to orbit the earth, circling three times.

At the same time, he became the fifth person in space to made news round the world.

A member of the Democratic Party, he first won election to the Senate in 1974 and served 24 years, from 3 January 1999.

John Glenn is remembered as not only the first American to orbit the Earth, but also the oldest.

NASA sent him at the age of 77 years-again into space!

This historic trip set space science forward to monitor how an aged human body would fare in space and how aging might relate to deleterious effects of zero gravity on the human body.

On 15 October 1998, when the shuttle reached low earth orbit, Glenn returned to space exactly 36 years, eight months, and nine days after he became the first American to do so.
.

Thus while still a sitting Senator, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs as crew member of the Discovery space shuttle.

Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honour in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

His list of honours and awards is longer than the Mississippi River! What an inspiration!

 
 

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