Deputy Dave’s Drink of the Day – Astronaut
Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.
Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America’s first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he had flown nearly 150 combat missions during two wars and in 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, the Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national security and symbolic of technological and ideological superiority. The Space Race involved pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, sub-orbital and orbital human spaceflight around the Earth, and piloted voyages to the Moon. It effectively began with the Soviet launch of the Sputnik 1 artificial satellite on 4 October 1957,
In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and his spacecraft, Vostok 1, made a full orbit before returning to Earth. Within a month, American Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American in space when his Freedom 7 spacecraft was launched on a suborbital flight. American “Gus” Grissom made another suborbital flight in July.
In August, Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent more than 25 hours in space aboard Vostok 2, making 17 orbits. As a technological power, the United States desperately needed a multi-orbital flight before another Soviet space advance arrived. or risk being seen as second rate compared to its Cold War adversary. On February 20, 1962, NASA and Colonel John Glenn accomplished this feat with the flight of Friendship 7, a spacecraft that made three orbits of the Earth in five hours. Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
On 20 April 1961, President John F. Kennedy sent a memo to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, asking him to look into the state of America’s space program, and into programs that could offer NASA the opportunity to catch up. Johnson responded about one week later, concluding that the United States needed to do much more to reach a position of leadership. Johnson recommended that a piloted moon landing was far enough in the future that it was likely that the United States could achieve it first.
On 25 May, Kennedy announced his support for the Apollo program and redefined the ultimate goal of the Space Race in an address to a special joint session of Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” His overall support of NASA and the space program was unexpected because of how often he attacked the administration’s inefficiency during the election. His justification for the Moon Race was both that it was vital to national security and that it would focus the nation’s energies in other scientific and social fields. He expressed his reasoning in the famous “We choose to go to the Moon” speech, on 12 September 1962, in Houston, Texas, near the site of the future Johnson Space Center.
The Space Race concluded with the co-operative Apollo-Soyuz Test Project human spaceflight mission in July 1975. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project came to symbolize détente, a partial easing of strained relations between the USSR and the US.
Over 20 years later, In 1998, Glenn attracted considerable media attention when he returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio. In honor of John Glenn and his fellow astronauts, I give you Deputy Dave’s Drink of the Day: Astronaut
1 1/2 oz light rum
1 1/2 oz dark rum
4 – 5 oz Sprite® soda
1 splash pineapple juice
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