MADISON, Ala., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Americans in
Orbit-50 Years has announced plans to re-create the NASA mission in which
John Glenn became the first American to Orbit the Earth. Inspired by the
1962 Friendship 7 mission, the plan is to re-create the flight on the 50th
anniversary, February 20, 2012. Craig Russell, President of Americans in
Orbit-50 Years, stated, "This is the first attempt to re-create a manned
orbital spaceflight. We plan to launch an astronaut from Cape Canaveral
aboard an improved Mercury capsule." The flight is scheduled to "splash
down" in the Atlantic, just as Glenn's 1962 mission.
Americans in Orbit-50 Years has been able to recruit an Advisory Board
made up of a distinguished group of space program veterans: T.J. O'Malley,
Charles Arthur (Chuck) Biggs, Sr., Larry R. Capps, William Coleman, Lt.
Col. USAF (Ret.), Hugh W. Harris, Konrad K. Dannenberg. We will continue to
add members over time.
The purpose of the project is twofold; commemoration and education. Our
hope is to honor all of those who were associated with Project Mercury.
Many of these people went on to work on both the Gemini and Apollo programs
which resulted in the moon landing. The Dittmar Associates Study,
commissioned by NASA, noted the steady decline of interest in space
exploration over the last few years, particularly among the younger
generations. Americans in Orbit-50 Years will re-ignite interest by
allowing students to actively participate with space science experiments
and small satellites in the adaptor section. Russell has contacted
professors at several major universities, and they have all expressed
interest and a desire to be involved in the project.
The organization proposes to use a Falcon 9 rocket for the launch. The
Falcon 9 is being developed and tested by SpaceX, a California based space
exploration company. The two stage rocket will be able to lift
approximately 22,000 lbs. into orbit.
About Americans in Orbit-50 Years, Inc. - Americans in Orbit-50 Years
is headquartered in Madison, Alabama, just outside Huntsville, Alabama
(home of Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and
Space Camp). The mission is to develop and manage a program to commemorate
the 50 year anniversary of NASA's Friendship 7 mission, create excitement,
public awareness of space exploration, and promote the National Space
Science Education Program (NSSEP). For more information, visit their
website at http://www.aio50.org.
1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.
prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.