Victory Lap

For NASA, a shot into space provides a shot in the arm, as John Glenn at last returns to orbit

The first time John Glenn flew into space, he made a point of mentioning chewing gum to his wife. Whenever the former combat pilot was preparing for an especially hazardous mission, he and Annie always talked about gum, and Feb. 20, 1962, was no exception. That morning Glenn was perched atop a steaming Atlas missile while Annie waited at home in Arlington, Va., following his doings on a bank of television sets. At just past 8:35, the phone rang. On the line--through a roar of static--Annie could hear John, patched directly from his spaceship to his home. "Well," Glenn said, "I'm...

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