Astronaut John Glenn dies at 95
OHIO (WGNO) – Former NASA astronaut John Glenn has died, according to ABC.
Glenn was 95 years old.
He had been hospitalized for more than a week prior to his death.
He became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.
Glenn piloted the Mercury space capsule, dubbed Friendship 7, and circled the planet three times in just under five hours on February 20, 1962. Of the original seven US astronauts who made up Project Mercury — Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra and Donald Slayton — Glenn is the last surviving member.
Prior to his career as an astronaut, Glenn flew 149 missions during World War II and the Korean War and received multiple medals and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross on six occasions.
He resigned from the astronaut program in 1964 and pursued a career in politics, serving as a US senator as a Democrat from Ohio between 1974 and 1999. He even ran for president in 1984. But Glenn’s time in space wasn’t over.
At 77, he became the oldest person to ever travel in space. Glenn was a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a nine-day mission in 1998.
In 2011, he received a Congressional Gold Medal alongside Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
This year, he attended a celebration that saw the renaming of Port Columbus Airport to John Glenn Columbus International Airport.