Closer to God: Religion and the American Space Program

Closer to God: Religion and the American Space Program 2

Bettmann, Corbis

Apollo 17 took off in 1972.

From a half-century's distance, the question startles. "I was wondering," asked Sen. Alexander Wiley, "whether you felt that God was up there as well as down here, and that in Him, you lived and moved and had your being?" "Absolutely," answered John Glenn.

Fresh from NASA's first manned orbit of the Earth, Glenn was the star of a Senate committee meeting that The New York Times likened to a tent revival. His comments on his February 1962 flight were for cold-war-era Americans