Why are so many astronauts from Ohio?

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[Excerpt] [John H.] Glenn’s groundbreaking hours in the sky were just the first of more than 22,000 hours – and counting – logged in space by someone from our state. The first of 78 successful missions, too.

One of the original seven, the Cambridge native is also just one name now on the list of 25 astronauts hailing from the Buckeye State. Ohio boasts a “statistically significant” number of astronauts, said Bill Barry, NASA chief historian, whose achievements add up to “a huge legacy for NASA.”

Glenn, who died in Columbus Dec. 8, will always be one of our brightest stars. Depending on who you ask, his stature may only be eclipsed by another certain astronaut born nine years later and less than 200 miles away from Glenn’s birthplace….

There’s Neil Armstrong, the boy from Wapakoneta who became the first man who stepped on the moon, of course….

There’s also Mansfield’s Michael L. Gernhardt, who performed the first U.S. space walk from the International Space Station in 2001.

Sunita Williams also belongs to Ohio. The Euclid native already holds the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut….

But how was Ohio there from the very beginning, from the moment of our country’s space program launch? What is it about this place that made a boy nicknamed Bud the legend we now call Sen. John Glenn?

Read the story at cincinnati.com.