Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 30, 1998

John Glenn: Discovery Launch
Credit: Courtesy KSC, NASA

Explanation: At left, the Space Shuttle Discovery waits in darkness on Kennedy Space Centre's launch pad 39B. At right, on Thursday October 29, Discovery blasts through a bright afternoon sky returning Senator John Glenn to space over 36 years after he became the first American in orbit. Paving the way in 1962 Glenn flew solo, but today he is part of a crew of seven astronauts shepherding scientific payloads on shuttle mission STS-95. On tape, fellow Mercury Program astronaut Scott Carpenter again wished, "... Godspeed John Glenn." while Kennedy Space Centre launch control offered, "Let the wings of Discovery lift us into the future." At age 77, John Glenn, a legend and hero of NASA's first human spaceflight program, has become the oldest space traveler. From orbit, Glenn commented, "... zero-g and I feel fine!"

Tomorrow's picture: Bats And A Barren Moon

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.