IPFS News Link • Death

John Glenn, First US Astronaut to Orbit Earth, Has Died at 95

• https://www.wired.com, Sarah Scoles

In 1962, Glenn became the face of American technological triumph. NASA rocketed him upward in a vessel that looked more like a spotlight bulb than a space capsule, not sure that he would make it back. But they knew they had to try, and that this was the time.

While evolved humans now think of space exploration as an international, uniting endeavor, Glenn took flight in a nationalistic, cold-warring time in US history. The Soviet Union had launched Sputnik five years before, in 1957. Its loudspeaker-broadcasted beep echoed through the halls of schools across America and the living rooms of citizens who just wanted their country to also go to space. That same year, the Soviet space agency sent up a dog-stronaut, and soon, humans Yuri Gagarin and Gherman S. Titov had pushed beyond Earth's atmosphere.