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15 January 1998

Statement on Possibility of John Glenn Shuttle Flight

CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900

(Washington, DC) -- January 15, 1998 -- In response to rumors that NASA will announce at 12 noon tomorrow that former astronaut and now Senator John Glenn will fly aboard a future shuttle, Ms. Pat Dasch, executive director for the National Space Society (NSS) today said:

"We are anxiously awaiting NASA's rationale for flying Glenn, if that is what they are announcing. From a biomedical standpoint, the Senator represents a sample of an entirely new segment of the population. His flight would involve new experiments to answer the questions of how an older person reacts in space. In seeing these results, will we see things we can apply to making older people more comfortable on Earth?

However, we believe that NASA should not make a decision about Glenn without having also decided whether the same opportunity will be available for those civilians who have already trained to go into space, including Barbara Morgan, Christa McAuliffe's back-up. We would welcome a 'Glenn is go' decision if it marks a policy change at NASA on flying civilians. Restarting NASA's Civilians in Space program would make it possible for experts in different areas, who are not career astronauts, to accelerate development of a true spacefaring civilization. If giving Glenn the green light is an exception to the rule, we want to know why."

The National Space Society is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization with headquarters in Washington, DC. Its 25,000 members and 95 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. For more information on the NSS and our future in space, visit

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Updated Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 15:24:21
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