onthisdayinworld@gmail.com

STS-95 launched with the oldest person to reach Earth orbit

STS-95 launched with the oldest person to reach Earth orbit

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.

John Glenn STS-95 portrait
John Glenn STS-95 portrait

John Glenn

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.

John Glenn in the Spacehab Single Module during flight
John Glenn in the Spacehab Single Module during flight

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.

Glenn entering his spacecraft, Friendship 7, prior to the launch of Mercury-Atlas 6 on February 20, 1962.
Glenn entering his spacecraft, Friendship 7, prior to the launch of Mercury-Atlas 6 on February 20, 1962.

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.

Launch of STS-95
Launch of STS-95

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.

Bill Clinton with his wife Hillary
Bill Clinton with his wife Hillary
Bill Clinton with his wife Hillary on the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building
Bill Clinton with his wife Hillary on the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building

Crew

Top: Parazynski, Robinson, Mukai, Duque, Glenn; Bottom: Lindsey, Brown
Top: Parazynski, Robinson, Mukai, Duque, Glenn; Bottom: Lindsey, Brown

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.

The seven crew members pose for photographers prior to participating in a training session
The seven crew members pose for photographers prior to participating in a training session
Crew and seating arrangements
Crew and seating arrangements

In 1999, the crew of STS-95 was awarded the Space Foundation’s Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award.

Landing

STS-95 landed at the Kennedy SLF Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center on November 07, 1998.

STS-95 lands at the Shuttle Landing Facility, 7 November 1998
STS-95 lands at the Shuttle Landing Facility, 7 November 1998

Mission

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 Properties

  • Spacecraft : Space Shuttle Discovery
  • Landing mass : 103,322 kilograms (227,786 lb)
  • Payload mass : 11,130 kilograms (24,540 lb)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.