National Geographic : 1999 Jun
Dress Rehearsals For a man who'd waited 36 years to get back into a spacecraft, it seemed that Glenn spent an awful lot of time practicing escapes from one. Much of the crew's physical training in Houston involved egress exercises, including a postlanding exit in which Glenn climbed through the orbiter's overhead window and slid down (top left). "Once you get over the side, it's actually kinda fun," he reported. Less fun was tumbling out the orbiter's side hatch (middle left) and landing on a thick foam mattress. Seated next to Mukai after a half-hour strap-in exercise (above), Glenn practiced unstrapping himself in the windowless lower cabin. "We were down in steerage," he jokes. "It was us and a couple of toadfish." The fish were part of an experiment to study the effects of changes in gravity on balance. Also on board were a perfume industry rose and an electronic nose-for unrelated studies.