Did Mercury Seven astronaut John Glenn see fireflies while orbiting Earth? It's one of the most jovial anecdotes in the history of NASA's space program and its origins date all the way back to the first successful American-manned spaceflight to orbit Earth. While going around the Earth, Glenn began reporting weird visions beyond his window. He described them as mysterious, brilliantly-hued particles flying all around his capsule.
NASA was immediately concerned as they listened to Glenn's report from space. After all, space was an even newer frontier in 1962 than it is now, and NASA didn't have all the answers right away. The scientists back on Earth worried that perhaps Glenn's spacecraft, Friendship 7, was disintegrating in space - or perhaps that the astronaut was actually losing his mind. Luckily, it was neither of those things and Glenn lived to tell the tale.
What were John Glenn's fireflies? The answer may actually shock and perhaps make you giggle.
John Glenn Described What He Was Seeing As Luminescent Fireflies
NASA Worried That The Spacecrafts's Heat Shield Was Disintegrating
NASA Was Concerned That Glenn Was Hallucinating Visions
The Fireflies Turned Out To Be Urine And Other Condensation From The Space Capsule
The Fireflies Appeared In The Right StuffPhoto: Warner Bros.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter Saw The Fireflies As Well