A remarkable senior

On this day in 1998, John Glenn Jr. returned to space.  He was 77 years old and became the oldest human to travel in space. 

He blasted off on a nine-day mission aboard space shuttle Discovery, almost 40 years after he orbited the earth in a Mercury rocket.

What an inspiration for anyone approaching their senior years. Who could have imagined, back in the 1960s, that people of pensionable age would be doing as much as they are these days?

Glenn, of course, had been one of America's first and most famous astronauts, orbiting the earth in Friendship 7 in 1962, at the height of the Cold War.  

He went on to become a long-serving member of the U. S. Senate before returning to space on his second historic flight on October 29th, 1998. On Discovery, he flew as a payload specialist and participated in a study on aging. It's remarkable that he was able to achieve a level of  mental and physical fitness that permitted him to endure the challenges of such a mission.

For more information on vitality in the senior years, see WebMD's Healthy Aging pages.
On Glenn's first flight that earned him a big ticker-tape parade,  see "Heatshield and Fireflies"

Photos of John Glenn are courtesy of NASA through Wikimedia Commons Public Domain archive.
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