All Systems Go

Actress Idina Menzel arrives at the cast party after "The Public Sings: a 50th Anniversary Celebration" in New York City Jan. 30, 2006.
AP
The crews for the shuttle Discovery launch arrived at Cape Canaveral mid-day Monday including the astronaut who's back on the job after a 36 year retirement, John Glenn. CBS Correspondent Eric Engberg reports.

As P.S. #2 or Payload Specialist Glenn won't be at the shuttle's controls. Instead he'll oversee experiments on the aging process. But the return of a seventy-seven year old certified hero to Right-Stuff country

has given NASA an unforeseen public relations boost.

"I have been pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of interest in this flight. And it's really gratifying to see people get so fired up about the space program," said Sen. John Glenn.

According to his wife, Glenn, who pressed NASA to give him one more flight, has kept up his interest in space.

"To tell you the truth, he's wanted to go on every flightÂ…so, he's one excited manÂ…astronaut, I should say," commented Annie Glenn.

John Glenn and the other six astronauts will be in semi isolation until the launch. Preparations are moving smoothly according to NASA.

"We're right on schedule. The flight and ground systems are all go," says Doug Lyons, NASA Test Director.

Despite the Senator's effort to focus on the mission, this is now the "Glenn flight" in most people's minds. And for many Americans it will be a stroll down memory lane to a time when space was a totally unknown place to visit.

Reported by Eric Engberg