From the S&S archives: Glenn flies to post in Nagasaki
TOKYO — U.S. astronaut Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. early Monday flew to Nagasaki, Japan, where he will board the Project Mercury tracking ship Coastal Sentry for the scheduled May 14 orbital flight of Maj. Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr.
Glenn will coordinate voice communications between Cooper and Cape Canaveral from aboard the Air Force ship as it cruises some 300 miles of Nagasaki in the Japan Sea.
Plans call for 22 orbits lasting 34 hours and possibly longer if Cooper's oxygen, fuel and other consumable supplies hold up.
During the next week Glenn will run communications tests simulating real planned space flight to tie in with the complex Project Mercury tracking network.
Glenn attended Sunday church services at the interdenominational Tokyo Union Church — but it was routine all the way. There was no fanfare.
Few churchgoers knew Glenn was in the church. The Rev. Howard B. Haines, pastor, made no acknowledgement from the pulpit of Glenn's presence.
Glenn arrived in a U.S. Embassy limousine about two minutes before services were to begin along with Mrs. Paul Rappaport and her 4-year-old son, Carey. Mrs. Rappaport's husband is assigned to the U.S. Information Service office at the embassy.
Also accompanying Glenn was Bartley Fugler, National Aeronautics and Space Administration aide.
Glenn, following other parishioners, entered the main church door, smiled and shook hands with Nicolaas Schenck, chairman of the church ushering committee.
He was quietly escorted to a third row pew along with Mrs. Rappaport, Carey and Fugler.
The church is often attended by members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Tokyo.
If the Cooper space shot is successful, Glenn plans to stay in Japan for 10 days after he is joined by his wife, Annie, and two children, David, 17, and Lynn, 15, who will arrive from their home in Houston, Tex.