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Coming Full Orbit

When he finally came to realize that his flying days were over, Glenn left the space program and went on to a distinguished political career in Washington. He has the distinction of being the only person Ohio has elected to the U.S. Senate for four consecutive terms.

It seems only fitting that as Glenn winds up his long career in Washington (he's retiring from the Senate this year rather than seek a fifth term), he'll be returning to the scene of his greatest triumph, miles above the surface of the Earth.

Yet even a story as heartwarming as this one has inspired a few jokes and irreverent remarks. One of them, in particular, may be worth passing on.

When he heard that Glenn was going back into space at the advanced age of 77, one Washington wag said he had a vision of the old astronaut "orbiting the earth at 10 miles an hour with his left directional signal blinking endlessly on and off."

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Written by Gary Paul Gates

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