ATLANTA, July 29 -- Veteran television newsman Walter Cronkite will co-anchor Cable News Network's launch and mission coverage of Sen. John Glenn's return to space in October. Cronkite, who anchored coverage of America's early manned space program, including Glenn's first American orbit in 1962, says he will be the 'color man' with CNN's John Holliman for the Oct. 29 space shuttle launch.
He will cover the mission through its Nov. 7 landing. 'It will carry me back about as far as it carries Glenn back,' 81- year-old Cronkite says. 'I'm thrilled at the opportunity to be live again.' Cronkite began his career as a news writer and editor for Scripps- Howard and United Press. After World War II, he reopened UP news bureaus in Amsterdam and Brussels. Cronkite was one of 20 finalists to become the first journalist in space. But when the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986 with teacher Christa McAuliffe on board, NASA decided not to allow any more non-astronauts to fly. Cronkite, whose CBS coverage included the first spacewalk and the first moon landing, says he is a longtime friend of 77-year-old Glenn. He says: 'I told him if they wanted to test an older guy in space, I ought to go. Or I could go with him, play canasta up there.' ---
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