SS John Glenn Soars Into Space: NASA Resupplies ISS And Pays Tribute To A National Hero
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) honored the legendary astronaut and national hero, John Glenn, by launching a cargo ship named after him into space on Tuesday, April 18.
Who Was John Glenn?
Glenn was a Marine-trained pilot who fought during World War II and the Korean War.
He was a part of the first group of astronauts drafted by NASA in 1959. Dubbed the Mercury Seven, Glenn was one of the seven men sent into space via the Mercury spacecraft.
Here are other amazing things you should know about Glenn:
• In 1957, the Ohio native set a speed record when he flew from Los Angeles to New York in less than three and a half hours.
• In 1962, Glenn was hailed the first American to orbit the Earth — completing three orbits around our home planet and spending five hours in space.
• Glenn was elected as a U.S. senator for the state of Ohio and was in office for 25 years.
• In 1998, Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space on his second flight, aboard space shuttle Discovery.
The iconic astronaut died in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 8, 2016, at the age of 95.
SS John Glenn
After his unfortunate death last year, Annie Glenn, Glenn's widow, granted Orbital ATK, one of NASA's accredited delivery services, along with SpaceX, the permission to use his name for a space supply ship set to replenish the International Space Station.
"It is clearly a chance one more time to show John Glenn's name emblazoned in space," said Frank Culbertson, a former astronaut who now heads Orbital ATK's space systems group.
Supplies For The ISS
The commercial ship, which took off from complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, is reportedly carrying 3,500 kilograms of food and other critical supplies for the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS, including water, clothing, equipment, and research.
Aside from supplies, the space capsule also brought a banner showing Glenn in his orange space shuttle launch suit. This will be the first thing the station astronauts will see when they open the spacecraft.
SS John Glenn is expected to arrive at the ISS on Saturday, April 22, morning. Space Station Commander Peggy Whitson and European Space Agency's Thomas Pesquet are in charge to grapple it with the use of the big Canada 2 arm.