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NASA ADMINISTRATOR REMEMBERS JOHN GLENN'S HISTORIC FLIGHT



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR Z. ROWE - N1ORC

Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington                     Feb. 20, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

RELEASE: 02-31

NASA ADMINISTRATOR REMEMBERS JOHN GLENN'S HISTORIC FLIGHT

     The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Sean 
O'Keefe to commemorate the 40th anniversary of John Glenn's 
historic orbital flight.

"On this date in 1962, John Herschel Glenn Jr. rode an Atlas 
rocket into the history books. Sitting inside his tiny Mercury 
space capsule, which was no more than nine feet high and six 
feet wide, he hurtled through space at five miles per second, 
carrying the hopes and dreams of an entire nation with him.

"We were at the height of the Cold War. NASA was engaged in 
what many considered to be a desperate race with the Soviet 
Union to conquer space, and we were behind. Yet in just four 
hours and 55 minutes the sprit of America was renewed. 

"John Glenn did something no American had done before. It was 
an extraordinary technical achievement. However, the flight of 
Friendship 7 represented much more than a specific scientific 
accomplishment. Senator Glenn's ride into space embodied the 
'can do' attitude that is NASA, and it touched the hearts of 
people around the world. 

"From that moment on, there was no obstacle too great, no task 
too difficult. America was going to pioneer the future, and 
NASA was going to lead that quest. We owe Senator Glenn and 
those early space explorers our deepest and most sincere 
appreciation.

"As we pause today to honor a true American hero, Senator 
Glenn's historic flight serves as an inspiration to an 
aerospace agency at the crossroads of change. NASA needs to 
rededicate itself to the fundamentals of science and 
technology research. Let's get back to what put this agency in 
the hearts and minds of all Americans, and in the process 
continue our mandate to expand the frontiers of flight, space 
and knowledge."

Additional information on Friendship 7's historic flight and 
the Mercury program is available on the Internet at: 
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/40thmerc7/intro.htm

                          -end-

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