Retired Nebraska Astronaut Clayton Anderson is remembering the life and legacy of John Glenn who died yesterday at age 95. Anderson says he had just been accepted into the space program when he first met Glenn in a Texas church in 1998. Anderson says he didn’t waste much time in making introductions and their paths crossed several times during his time with NASA.
Anderson says, “He was very humble about his initial beginnings and the courage that it took. He was truly an astronaut’s astronaut in that in my mind he was intelligent, he had integrity, he was a man of faith, he was courageous. He had the right stuff.”
Anderson says he was able to spend some time with Glenn at the Space Center while he was an astronaut. He gave them briefings and shared interesting stories about the early days of the space program.
Glenn returned to space at age 77 and Anderson was very impressed at his physical ability. He says there is a lot of physical training one must go through before flying in the shuttle. Anderson was in his late 30’s and a good athlete and admits it was difficult. That included climbing out a window and repelling 80 feet to the ground. Anderson says the fact a 77 year old man could do that was very impressive.
Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth in 1962 aboard Friendship 7.