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E-mail From Washington

From: CNN
In: Washington, D.C.
Posted 6-23-97

Subject: NASA Discusses One Last Mission For John Glenn

Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), the first American to orbit the Earth, wants to become the oldest American to orbit the Earth and a NASA tells CNN the space agency has had a talk with the Senator to discuss the possibility.

Glenn, who turns 76 next month, has volunteered for a space shuttle mission if NASA decided there was a need to study how weightlessness affects an older human, Glenn press secretary Brian McCleary told CNN.

While there is no mission now planned, a NASA official told the Orlando Sentinel that the space agency is interested in increasing research on how space alters the aging process.

"NASA has discussed the idea with the senator, and we are giving it further consideration," NASA spokesman Michael Braukus told the paper.

NASA director of public affairs Peggy Wilhyde tells CNN that there is no program underway to put the senator on a shuttle, but, "If the first man to orbit the earth calls and wants to talk about returning to the astronaut [program] you certainly take his call." Glenn was actually the first American in orbit. <