LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – American hero John Glenn passed away Thursday, and now one local resident is reflecting on her time spent with Glenn during his final trip to space.
“It was really neat being with men and women who were engineers in the early stages of space flight.”
Michelle Macfadyen smiled as she spoke, for the first time in years, of her past career with space flight.
“I fell in love with the possibility of doing something that was extremely unique,” said Macfadyen.
Macfadyen was a space shuttle flight controller in Houston, Texas.
She worked with space hero, John Glenn during his first flight back to space after 25 years.
“He had always wanted to go back into space, so he was very excited about being able to do that and it was just neat to be working with such a pioneer in the space program,” said Macfadyen.
In 1998, 77-year-old John Glenn and his crew prepared for take off, making him the oldest person ever to go to space.
“You can imagine everything a commander has to deal with as it is, but he was so concerned that this 77-year-old man, who was an American icon, might have health issues during the flight,” said Macfadyen.
Due to the seriousness of her job, Macfadyen was instructed to keep her distance from the crew.
“We had to make life or death decision. He didn’t want us thinking about the emotional ties we had to the astronauts, so in a sense, it was our job not to become to close to them,” said Macfadyen
Macfadyen was eight months pregnant at the time and knew this would her last time launching space rockets.
“As I was leaving he signed a picture that said ‘in great expectation to Stewart’ and that was special little conversation we had together.”
Macfadden said working with Glenn is a time she will cherish forever.
“I have nothing but good thoughts really. I’m sure he’s really flying high now in the sky.”