On February 20th 1962 John Glenn stepped into his mercury space craft, Friendship 7, and became the first human being to circle the globe.
I can only imagine the dichotomy of experience one would have in orbit. You sit in a silent, zero gravity serenity above the crest of the blue horizon and yet the mind is racing with tasks to complete, instruments to monitor and contemplating a foreboding reentry at several times the speed of sound.
Glenn returned to space in 1998 to become the oldest astronaut ever in space at age 77, which means that I still have 47 years to become one myself!
Below is a BBC article featuring an interview with Glenn.