John Glenn Space Flight Remembered by CACI Chairman Jack London
Astronaut's Flight Was 50 Years Ago Today
Fifty years ago, on February 20, 1962, John Glenn made his famous space flight, circling the globe three times before coming down in the Caribbean landing and recovery zone, where CACI's Chairman, Dr. Jack London, was on station for the recovery.
LTjg J.P. "Jack" London, USN, was a Navy helicopter pilot with squadron Helasron Seven aboard the aircraft carrier USS Randolph (CVS-15), which was assigned the recovery mission. He was with the airborne recovery team when Glenn overshot the recovery primary zone and landed further down range, being pulled from the sea by the crew of the USS Noa, a recovery back-up ship. During his 4-hour, 56-minute flight, Glenn had reached altitudes of up to 162 miles and orbited the Earth at speeds approaching 17,500 mph.
London recalls the day and Glenn's return aboard Randolph as "one of the most exciting days of my life. America was now back in space for real, and we were doing a better job than the Soviets, who had been up there first. It was a hot, bright, sunny day and there were hundreds of us all over the flight deck in our white and khaki uniforms and orange flight suits celebrating and cheering the success." Later that year, London was also aboard Randolph in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in October and November 1962.
For more information about this historic flight, visit NASA's John Glenn site. It was 50 years ago that Glenn became a hero and America truly entered the space age ... just as it was 50 years ago that our CACI business began.