A Northeast Pennsylvania native who played a major role in the early days of the space program is featured prominently in the new adaptation of “The Right Stuff.”

The eight-part miniseries streaming on Disney+ debuted its first two episodes Friday.

Glynn Lunney, who grew up in Old Forge and has lived in Texas most of his life, appears as a character early in the first episode and even name drops his hometown when other characters ask where he’s from. Lunney is portrayed by Jackson Pace. and appears several times in the show thus far.

A Scranton Preparatory School alumnus, Lunney attended University of Scranton and then earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from University of Detroit before joining NASA. He held key roles during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions and beyond at mission control, where he served as a flight director. His numerous honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received as part of the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team. He also was in mission control during the Apollo 11 moon landing.

From left: Flight director John D. Hedge, chief, Flight Control Division; Glynn S. Lunney, chief, Flight Dynamics Branch, Flight Control Division; and James W. Beach, assistant flight director for Gemini-Titan 3, are shown in the Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas, during the Gemini-Titan 3 flight in March 1965.


Lunney spoke with Access NEPA in summer 2019 as the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

“I’m really proud … when I look back and think about how well that group of young men performed,” he said last year. “And they just were given the example by guys like Kraft and others, and I was part of the example class, although I was really pretty young. … The group of people that surrounded Chris (Kraft), I kind of had to do a lot of maturing pretty fast to catch up with that.”

From left: Micah Stock as Deke Slayton, Jake McDorman as Alan Shepard, Aaron Staton as Wally Schirra, Michael Trotter as Gus Grissom, Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn, Colin O’Donoghue as Gordon Cooper and James Lafferty as Scott Carpenter in National Geographic’s “The Right Stuff” on Disney+.


“The Right Stuff,” based on Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book, which also was adapted into a 1983 movie, has received mixed reviews. The Los Angeles Times wrote that it “is not bad, or even boring, just thin and unconvincing. Its budget shows, in the negative sense, and its best points are to be found here and there in small things — individual performances, selected exchanges and assorted old gewgaws and gadgets that decorate the screen.”

Watch the trailer below.