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Glenn Launch Poses Oratorical Dilemma

October 11, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

NASA is stewing over what to say when space shuttle Discovery blasts off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in 2 1/2 weeks, carrying the first American to orbit the Earth. Will it be "Godspeed, John Glenn" again? Or "Godspeed, John Glenn and everybody else on board"? Or maybe just "Godspeed, Discovery"? NASA wants to work in a "Godspeed" to commemorate this 36-year repeat of space history. Problem is: Seven people will be on board this time, and launch controllers recoil at the thought of singling out one person--even if it's Glenn, their hero and a senator who, at 77, will become the oldest person to fly in space.

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