March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- Senator John Glenn, the astronaut who flew both Mercury and space shuttle missions and served as Ohio's U.S. Senator from 1974 to 1998, will speak on "The Space Program and Politics" on Wednesday, April 7, at 8 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by the Junior Class Council at Amherst, is free and open to the public.
The first popularly elected senator from Ohio to win four consecutive terms, Glenn took a leading role in weapons control and government affairs. He was chief author of the 1978 Nonproliferation Act, served as chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee from 1978 until 1995, and sat on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and the Special Committee on Aging. Never far from the center of Democratic politics, he was a contender for the vice presidential nomination three times and ran in the Democratic primaries as a presidential candidate in 1984.
Glenn's famous 1962 voyage into space made him the first human to ever orbit the earth. His most recent trip was 1998's nine-day mission aboard the spaceship Discovery, during which he and the rest of the crew supported a variety of research payloads, including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, and investigations on space flight and the aging process.