• Short Summary

    FOR FIVE TENSE HOURS ON JANUARY 27, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN GLENN, AMERICA'S 40-YEAR-OLD ASTRONAUT, LAY IN HIS TINY MERCURY CAPSULE, "FRIENDSHIP 7", WAITING FOR THE BLAST-OFF THAT WOULD HURL HIM INTO SPACE ON A THREE-ORBITAL FLIGHT ROUND THE WORLD - THE BLAST OFF THAT NEVER CAME.

  • Description

    1.
    LV. GLENN LEAVES TRANSFER VAN WITH DOCTORS AND WALKS TO ELEVATOR, SHAKES HANDS, ENTERS ELEVATOR. ELEVATOR
    0.43

    2.
    LV. ELEVATOR MOVES TOWARDS CAPSULE.
    1.03

    3.
    SV. GLENN STEPS OUT OF ELEVATOR.
    1.19

    4.
    SV. GLENN PLACES AIR CONDITIONER ON FLOOR AND WALKS TOWARDS CAPSULE.
    1.34

    5.
    SV. GLENN ENTERS CAPSULE, AND REMOVES PLASTIC COVERING FROM BOOTS.
    2.22

    6.
    SV. CONNECTING UP GLENN IN CAPSULE (2 SHOTS)
    2.35

    7.
    SV. FIXING CAPSULE DOOR.
    2.47

    8.
    LV. CAPSULE.
    2.53

    9.
    LV. DITTO.
    2.56

    10.
    GV & SV..CAPSULE READY FOR FIRING.
    3.04

    11.
    GV. SHOWING MISSILE AND GANTRIES
    3.10

    12.
    GV. CROWDS ON BEACH.
    3.19

    13.
    GV. TRANSFER VAN AFTER WITH GLENN ON BOARD AFTER LEAVING CAPSULE.
    3.23

    14.
    CU. GLENN LEAVES TRANSFER VAN AND WAVES.
    3.35



    Initials DR/N/AW/IRMD


    EDITORS: COMMENTATOR'S VOICE FOR GUIDANCE ONLY.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: FOR FIVE TENSE HOURS ON JANUARY 27, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN GLENN, AMERICA'S 40-YEAR-OLD ASTRONAUT, LAY IN HIS TINY MERCURY CAPSULE, "FRIENDSHIP 7", WAITING FOR THE BLAST-OFF THAT WOULD HURL HIM INTO SPACE ON A THREE-ORBITAL FLIGHT ROUND THE WORLD - THE BLAST OFF THAT NEVER CAME.

    IT WAS A DAY OFF RISING TENSION THAT BEGAN FOR GLENN AT 2A.M.WHEN HE WAS WOKEN BY DOCTORS FROM A DEEP SLEEP.AFTER A BREAKFAST OF POACHED EGGS, A SMALL FILLET STEAK, TOAST AND JELLY, AND COFFEE SUBSTITUTE, HE HAD A MEDICAL CHECK, THEN CLIMBED INTO HIS SPACE SUIT.GIVING A CHEERFUL WAVE TO THE WAITING CAMERAMEN AND TECHNICIANS OUTSIDE, HE WALKED TO THE WHITE AIR-CONDITIONED VAN THAT DROVE HIM THE FOUR MILES TO LAUNCHING PAD 14, WHERE THE HUGE ATLAS-AGENA ROCKET WAS WAITING.

    IN HIS HAND GLENN CARRIED A PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER TO KEEP HIM COOL INSIDE THE HEAVY SILVER SUIT UNTIL HE REACHED THE CAPSULE.FROM THE VAN, HE WALKED STRAIGHT TO THE LIFT THAT CARRIED HIM UP TO THE ELEVENTH FLOOR OF THE GANTRY, 120 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND.AT THIS TIME THE WEATHER WAS GOOD AND EVERYTHING WAS GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN.

    GLENN CLIMBED INTO THE CAPSULE, FEET FIRST, AND TECHNICIANS STAPPED HIM INTO HIS CONTOUR COUCH.AT 6.16 A.M.THEY BEGAN TO SEAL HIM INTO THE SPACE CRAFT.HE SHOOK HANDS BRIEFLY WITH A DOCTOR, THEN THE HATCH COVERED HIM AND HE WAS ALONE, CONNECTED ONLY WITH THE CONTROL CENTRE.THE GANTRY MOVED BACK, LEAVING THE ROCKET STANDING LIKE A GIANT PENCIL, POINTING TO THE SKY AGAINST THE THICKENING MIST ROLLING IN FROM THE SEA.

    THE EXCITEMENT INTENSIFIED, THROUGH A SERIES OF HOLDS AND RESUMPTIONS OF THE COUNT-DOWN, UNTIL AT 9.10 A.M.THE MERCURY CONTROL CENTRE ANNOUNCED THAT THE ATTEMPT TO LAUNCH THE FIRST AMERICAN INTO ORBIT HAD BEEN POSTPONED.BUT FOR GLENN THE WAIT WAS NOT OVER.BEFORE HE COULD LEAVE THE CAPSULE THE LIQUID OXYGEN FUEL HAD TO BE DRAINED AWAY.

    THE FIRST DELAYS WERE CAUSED BY THE GATHERING CLOUD.WHEN A CHANCE DID COME OF FIRING THE ROCKET THROUGH A BREAK IN THE CLOUD LAYER, AN ELECTRICAL FAULT STOPPED THE CLOCK USED IN THE MERCURY CONTROL CENTRE TO TIME THE COUNT-DOWN.

    OTHER FACTORS CONTRIBUTED TO THE DECISION TO CALL OFF THE ATTEMPT.ONE WAS THE LENGTH OF GLENN'S WAIT IN THE TINY COCKPIT OF HIS CAPSULE.ANOTHER WAS THAT DELAYS HAD LIMITED THE LENGTH OF DAYLIGHT AVAILABLE, CUTTING THE FLIGHT TO ONE TWO ORBITS.

    IT WAS A DISMAL ANTI-CLIMAX FOR THE CROWDS PACKING THE FIVE MILE STRETCH OF BEACH AT THE CAPE, READY WITH TELESCOPES AND BINOCULARS TO SEE THE BLAST-OFF, THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE ATTEMPT, NOW SCHEDULED FOR FEB 1 OR 2, SHOWED ON THE STRAINED FACE OF THE ASTRONAUT, WHO HAD LOST SEVERAL POUNDS IN WEIGHT DURING HIS TIME IN THE CAPSULE.AS HIS HELMET WAS REMOVED, HIS ONLY COMMENT WAS: "WELL, THERE'LL BE ANOTHER DAY".

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5260I2DTRLB6JRX84UNG8IQ18
    Media URN:
    VLVA5260I2DTRLB6JRX84UNG8IQ18
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/01/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:10:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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