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  sci-tech > space > story pagecorner  

John Glenn talks Mars, launches new book

VideoAn interview with former astronaut John Glenn about his autobiography.
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

December 6, 1999
Web posted at: 4:22 p.m. EST (2122 GMT)

(CNN) -- Former astronaut John Glenn sympathizes with NASA's red planet woes, telling CNN that the same "far out quest for information" that put him in orbit in the 1960s drives the agency's Mars missions in the 1990s.

The first American to orbit the Earth, Glenn expounds on the Mercury 7 project and a variety of other topics in his new book, "John Glenn: A Memoir."

Glenn said he had not planned to write a biography, but with grandsons asking about the Great Depression, the hero from Ohio decided to give it a go.

The retired U.S. senator told CNN he hopes the book "may be encouraging some our young people in areas of public service."

Besides Glenn's public persona, the book takes readers on a voyage into his personal life. While writing the memoirs, he unearthed a forgotten love letter that describes the object of his desire as having "a radiance of color that shames a Michelangelo." He delivered it some 50 years late, but his wife Annie didn't mind.

Want to know what Glenn, the son of a plumber with a six-grade education, keeps on his desk as a reminder of his modest origins? Watch this interview, carried live Monday on CNN.

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Mars Polar Lander: Official Web site
Deep Space 2
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mars Pathfinder
Mars Meteorite home page
Planetary Society
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The Nine Planets: Mars
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