John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth six months before Mike Massimino was even born. But 40 years later, when Massimino made his own first trip to space, he felt the gravitational, inspirational tug of what Glenn had accomplished so many years earlier.
On the occasion of Glenn’s 95th birthday, on July 18, Massimino reflects on an American legend.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- Greta Gerwig's Next Big Swing
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- In the Belly of MrBeast
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- How Long Should You Isolate With COVID-19?
- The Best Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Write to Jeffrey Kluger at firstname.lastname@example.org