skip to main content

H.Con.Res. 102 (112th): Commemorating and praising the Honorable John Glenn on the 50th anniversary of his historic orbital space flight.

The text of the bill below is as of Feb 16, 2012 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. CON. RES. 102


February 16, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Kucinich, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. LaTourette, Mr. Latta, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Tiberi, Ms. Sutton, and Ms. Fudge) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology


Commemorating and praising the Honorable John Glenn on the 50th anniversary of his historic orbital space flight.

Whereas John Glenn's 1962 space flight aboard Friendship 7 was a pivotal moment in United States history;

Whereas the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, and the people of the United States were immediately alarmed that the Nation was no longer the world’s technological leader;

Whereas the United States determined that a presence in outer space was critically important to its national security during the Cold War;

Whereas to meet this challenge the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was reorganized on October 1, 1958, into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research;

Whereas John Glenn of New Concord, Ohio, joined the United States Navy Reserve as an aviation cadet following the bombing of Pearl Harbor;

Whereas John Glenn was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on March 31, 1943;

Whereas John Glenn flew 59 combat missions flying the FU–4 Corsair in the South Pacific during World War II and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses;

Whereas John Glenn flew 63 combat missions in the F9F Panther and 27 combat missions in the F–86 Sabre in the Korean War and received two Distinguished Flying Crosses;

Whereas John Glenn was assigned as a test pilot at Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and on July 16, 1957, flew the first transcontinental flight, Project Bullet, averaging speeds greater than the speed of sound travelling 2,446 miles in 3 hours 23 minutes and 8.1 seconds from Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, in a F8U Crusader and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross;

Whereas NASA selected 7 United States Armed Forces test pilots, including Major John H. Glenn, Jr., USMC, to volunteer and fly in its manned space program, Project Mercury on April 9, 1959;

Whereas NASA conducted 20 unmanned launches of the Project Mercury space capsule including some with monkeys and chimpanzees and conducting 2 suborbital space flights in 1961 commanded by Commander Alan Shepard, USN, and Captain Gus Grissom, USAF;

Whereas after numerous delays, John Glenn boarded his Mercury capsule named Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962;

Whereas the world stopped as the Atlas rocket with 360,000 pounds of thrust lifted Friendship 7 off the launch pad with the voice of fellow astronaut Scott Carpenter at mission control wishing “Godspeed John Glenn”;

Whereas Glenn felt 6 times the force of gravity on lift off and then once in space, we heard his voice crackling over the radio “Zero-g and I feel fine. Capsule is turning around. Oh, that view is tremendous!”;

Whereas great concern was raised about indications that the heat shield might not be properly attached which would result in the fiery destruction of the spacecraft and astronaut upon reentry;

Whereas with a successful splashdown, John Glenn had reached speeds of over 18,000 miles per hour, and in 4 hours 55 minutes and 23 seconds became the first United States citizen to orbit the Earth, rocketing the Nation back into the space race and taking a vital step on man’s journey to the moon;

Whereas John Glenn’s public service career was far from over being elected Ohio’s United States Senator in 1974 and serving as the first Ohioan popularly elected to 4 terms and serving an Ohio record of 24 years consecutive years;

Whereas having announced his retirement from the Senate, NASA selected Glenn as a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS–95;

Whereas Glenn spent 9 days from October 29 until November 7, 1998, in space undergoing various experiments to research possible links between the human aging process and the negative symptoms experienced by astronauts exposed for a lengthy period of time to the weightlessness of space and at age 77 becoming the oldest United States citizen to travel into space;

Whereas John Glenn is the recipient of numerous awards including 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Congressional Space of Medal of Honor, and the Congressional Gold Medal;

Whereas John Glenn continues to inspire a new generation of leaders at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University; and

Whereas John Glenn and his childhood sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor, Annie, have celebrated 68 years of marriage together and are blessed with 2 children, John David Glenn and Carolyn Ann Glenn, and grandsons Daniel and Zachary: Now, therefore, be it

That Congress—


recognizes the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic orbital space flight with Project Mercury aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962;


honors and praises John Glenn on the occasion of this anniversary and for his lifetime of service; and


acknowledges and affirms that John Glenn, pilot, astronaut, soldier, Senator, and statesman, has faithfully served his State and Nation in war and peace and is truly and will always remain a United States hero.