Tuesday, February 21, 2012

50 Years of U.S. Orbital Spaceflight

NASA hosted several events this weekend marking the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's Mercury flight in Friendship 7. The events at Kennedy Space Center included Scott Carpenter, whose Aurora 7 in May 1962 was the second U.S. orbital flight.

On February 20, the actual anniversary, Glenn and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden were at the Ohio State University for a NASA Future Forum.

Although all these events noted the significance of the anniversary, participants spoke passionately and at length about the future. The International Space Station and the commercial space program were touted by Glenn and others as an extremely important step to the future of U.S. human spaceflight, as well as for research into the biological and physical sciences.

NASA so far hasn't posted the events online, so until they do here are the events as I recorded them off the NASA.gov webcasts.

John Glenn and Scott Carpenter address KSC employees at an "all-hands" meeting on February 17, 2012. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and KSC director Bob Cabana also participate.

"On the Shoulders of Giants," a KSC Visitor Complex event honoring Glenn and Carpenter on February 18, 2012. Also speaking are U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Rep. Bill Posey, and KSC Director Bob Cabana. CNN correspondent John Zarrella emcees.

NASA Future Forum at the Ohio State University on February 20, 2012. Glenn and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden are the principal speakers.

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