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Mercury Rising: John Glenn And The Space Race

John Glenn, his wife Annie and President John F. Kennedy stand by Glenn's Friendship 7 spacecraft. Photo: NASA
John Glenn, his wife Annie and President John F. Kennedy stand by Glenn's Friendship 7 spacecraft. Photo: NASA

When we think of the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, we focus much on the Apollo program and the U.S. astronauts who crossed that finish line. But the space race began earlier than that and was far more perilous than we thought.

That’s according to a new book by author and historian Jeff Shesol. In Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War, Shesol re-examines the cold war space race with a focus on John Glenn and John Kennedy.

We’ll speak with Shesol about the book and how John Glenn’s Friendship 7 flight provided the momentum to win the space race.

Then, what does it take to photograph celestial phenomena like solar eclipses? Turns out, a lot of math. Are We There Yet’s Randy Vuxta sits down with photographer Julian Diamond about the pre-planning it takes to capture a great shot.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program.

Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.