Science Art: Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. confers with astronaut nurse Dolores B. O’Hara, 1962

John Glenn and Dolores O'Hara, Mercury-Atlas 6
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Astronaut and astronaut nurse, getting ready to stick another metaphorical toe into the metaphorical water of the eternal icy void of space, just before the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. It was America’s third time into space, and the first time an American orbited the Earth. We were still playing catch-up with Yuri Gagarin at that point. (He’d gone up the year previously; his cosmonaut colleague Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, went up the year following.) In 1998, Glenn – by then a senator – joined a space shuttle mission to become the oldest person in space.

We’ll miss you, Col. Glenn.

The other person in the photo, Dee O’Hara, set down some of her memories of the space program in this interview. She was also running experiments on what happened to human bodies in space into the 1990s.

The photo is in NASA’s Human Spaceflight collection.