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RUSH: John Glenn, first man to orbit the Earth, one of the original seven astronauts announced for the Mercury program, and it was all part of the effort to get to the moon. The Mercury program, Gemini, then Apollo, all of it was test flights to get to the Moon in stages, 'cause nobody had the slightest idea other than what the brilliant physics and scientists could predict and calculate about actually getting there and what we were gonna encounter once we did.
John Glenn was 95 years old. There are advantages, folks, to getting older because you acquire and accumulate more knowledge and you're able to combine that with experiences that you've had, and you're able to put some things in perspective that younger people can't. This is not a put-down of younger people. I'm not trying to be preachy to younger people. As always, I'm trying to be informative.
Space - Flight - Today - People - Mars
Space flight today for people under 40 is -- I mean, to them it's going to Mars. To them it's colonizing an asteroid or a planet in order to save ourselves because of climate change. But back in the sixties when the first seven astronauts were selected, they were test pilots. They were test pilots on the leading edge of breaking the sound barrier. These guys flew airplanes.
You know the life expectancy of a test pilot in the forties, fifties and sixties, it would stun you how many test pilots died. They were the essence of pioneers and bravery and courage. Chuck Yeager in something not much bigger than a lawn mower breaks the speed of sound. Guys that flew in the X-15, they would have to put them on the bottom of a wing of a B-52, take 'em up to 30,000 feet and drop them because...
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One of the countries we liberated was Russia, too bad it seems to have cost us our liberty.