Is Three Glenn's Magic Number?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Consummate spaceman John Glenn is refusing to rule out a third blastoff -– but his wife is determined to keep him earthbound. "You’ll have to get Annie’s clearance on that," Glenn told reporters in his first ever zero-gravity news conference this weekend, when asked about his plans for another journey to the stars. "Annie became an enthusiast for this flight. I’m not sure she’ll sign on for many more." Glenn’s got that one right. According to NASA administrator Daniel Goldin, the 77-year-old senator’s other half whispered her disapproval to him during the Discovery launch. "This is wonderful," Annie told him. "But Dan -– no more!"

Still, you can’t keep an old astronaut down. Glenn, who gets some much-appreciated R&R Monday during the traditional mid-mission break, has spent the last couple of days marveling at the view –- which he describes as "awesome" -– and wiring himself up to an array of sleep sensors. "I’m not sure you need the same amount of sleep up here," said the senator, who’s been grabbing a less-than-usual six hours of Z’s every night. "I feel fine." About the only thing Glenn doesn’t feel fine about is the "bloodletting," as he calls the routine taking of samples from his veins. Even a two-time American hero, it seems, can come up a little short on bravery when it comes to needles.