John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth. He circled the earth three times on February 20, 1962 aboard Friendship 7 on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. 35 years later John Glenn convinced NASA to let him help them study the effects of aging on space travel and at age 77, he became the oldest man to again orbit the earth. John Glenn was a crew member and the payload specialist in his return to space on the Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) for a 9 day mission to orbit the earth from October 29, 1998 to November 7, 1998.
Here is a video of the launch where John Glenn returned to space on October 29, 1998.
The following chart from SpaceToday.org shows the comparison of the 1962 and 1998 flights John Glenn made orbiting the earth (Source).
|John Glenn's Space Flights|
|Solo in capsule
|With six others|
in shuttle Discovery
|4 hours, 55 minutes||9 or 10 days|
|162 miles altitude||325 miles altitude|
3.6 million miles
|360,000 pounds thrust
Maximum 8 Gs
|7 million pounds thrust|
Maximum 3 Gs
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Photo: The photo of John Glenn in this post is in the Public Domain.