STS-95 mission launched with the oldest person to reach Earth orbit
On this day during on October 29, 1998, the STS-95 Space Shuttle mission was launched with 77-year old John Glenn onboard, making him the oldest person to reach Earth orbit.
At age 77, American astronaut, John Herschel Glenn Jr. became the oldest person to go into space on his second space flight mission. When he flew aboard a space shuttle mission more than 35 years later.
However, a record that remained unbroken for 23 years until 82-year-old Wally Funk flew on a suborbital flight on Blue Origin NS-16, launching on July 20, 2021. Which in turn was broken by William Shatner at age 90 on October 13, 2021. Glenn, however, remains the oldest person to reach Earth orbit.
Glenn was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the third American in space, and the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962 onboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft.
Following his retirement from NASA, he served from 1974 to 1999 as the Democratic United States Senator from Ohio.
Glenn was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, USA, and died on December 8, 2016, at the age of 95.
STS-95 Space Shuttle mission
STS-95 was a Space Shuttle mission launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, using the orbiter Discovery. It was the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981. It was a highly publicized mission due to former Project Mercury astronaut and the United States Senator John Glen’s return to space for his second space flight.
This mission is also noted for inaugurating ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the U.S., with live coast-to-coast coverage of the launch. In another first, Pedro Duque became the first Spaniard in space.
The mission’s objectives involved investigating life-sciences experiments, using the SpaceHab module to perform these experiments on Senator Glenn.
Bill Clinton became the second incumbent U.S. president to witness a rocket launch, joined by his wife Hillary on the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building; and the only one to attend a Shuttle launch President Richard Nixon witnessed the launch of Apollo 12.
In the STS-95 mission, onboard were seven crew members. They included Curtis L. Brown Jr., Steven W. Lindsey, Pedro Duque, Scott E. Parazynski, Stephen K. Robinson, Chiaki Mukai, and John H. Glenn Jr.
In 1999, the crew of STS-95 was awarded the Space Foundation’s Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award.
STS-95 landed at the Kennedy SLF Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center on November 07, 1998.
During the 9 days, 19 hours, 54 minutes, 2 seconds mission, STS-95 traveled 5,800,000 kilometers (3,600,000 mi) completed 132 orbits.
- Spacecraft : Space Shuttle Discovery
- Landing mass : 103,322 kilograms (227,786 lb)
- Payload mass : 11,130 kilograms (24,540 lb)