The original seven Mercury astronauts look at a model of the rocket that would eventually launch their Mercury capsules into space. From the left, front row: Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Donald "Deke" Slayton, Gordon Cooper. From the left, back row: Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra, John Glenn.
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Image courtesy of NASA

John Glenn Receives Another 'Go'!
News story originally written on January 19, 1998

In 1959, John Glenn was chosen to be a Project Mercury Astronaut. In fact, he was given "go" to pilot the Mercury-Atlas 6 'Friendship 7' spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States of America. Some things haven't changed since the 60's - Glenn still has the right stuff!

NASA announced Friday that Glenn, who is 76 years old, will fly on the shuttle Discovery to be launched in October. This upcoming flight will be much different than his last flight 36 years ago. The Discovery mission will last 10 days, not just five hours. This time Glenn will be part of a seven person team, not flying solo. Unlike the Mercury mission which focused on survival, the Discovery mission will focus on how people age in space.

"Not only is John Glenn a Marine test pilot, an astronaut, and the first American to orbit the Earth, he brings a unique blend of experience to NASA," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "He has flight, operational, and policy experience. Unlike most astronauts, he never got the opportunity for a second flight. He is part of the NASA family, an American hero, and he has the right stuff for this mission."

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