NASA’s Glenn Research Center will host an event on March 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbital flight, the first by an American.
“Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit” will be held at 1 p.m. EST at Cleveland State University‘s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. More than 800 complimentary tickets are being distributed to the general public for this event through a lottery by Cleveland State University in partnership with NASA Glenn.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Glenn Director Ramon “Ray” Lugo will provide remarks during the one-hour program, which will include a welcome from Cleveland State University President Dr. Ronald Berkman. Space shuttle mission STS-95 pilot Steve Lindsey will pay tribute from the astronaut corps to Glenn. The program will culminate with a keynote address by the guest of honor Sen. John H. Glenn Jr.
Musical performances will be provided by the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Singing Angels and a soloist from Cleveland State University’s music program. Doors open at noon and a special pre-program musical performance by the Cleveland Institute of Music will begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by a video tribute to Glenn.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the achievements of John Glenn,” Lugo said. “We are delighted to combine the 50th anniversary celebration with the anniversary of the center renaming. The inspiration that John Glenn gives to millions of people along with the pioneering spirit that lives in the hearts of all who work at the center will continue to keep our nation on the path of exploration and discovery.”
On March 1, 1999, the Lewis Research Center was officially renamed the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in recognition of Glenn’s contributions to science, space and the state of Ohio. As one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Glenn trained in 1960 at Lewis in the Multiple Axis Space Test Inertia Facility.
Others attending the tribute event include agency officials, Ohio astronauts, NASA employees and contractors, elected officials, several hundred high school students throughout northeast Ohio, and 100 Twitter followers selected to participate in a day-long Tweetup event that includes tours of NASA Glenn and its visitor center at the Great Lakes Science Center.
Following the program, Glenn, Bolden and Lugo will participate in a news media opportunity and question and answer session with the Tweetup participants. Reporters interested in covering the program and media availability should contact Lori Rachul at 216-433-8806 by noon on Thursday, March 1.
The program and media opportunity will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed online at:
An interactive online feature about the Mercury program and Glenn’s flight is available at:
For more information about NASA Glenn, visit: