Yesterday, astronaut, engineer, senator, and American hero John Glenn passed away at the age of 95.
Even before joining NASA, John Glenn was a hero. He served as a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, earning six Distinguished Flying Crosses and an Air Medal with 18 award stars. Through exchange programs, he served in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force.
After wartime, Glenn continued with the Marine Corps as a test pilot, eventually attracting the attention of the newly-created NASA. In 1959, he was selected for the astronaut recruitment program despite being close to the 40 year-old cutoff age. As part of the Mercury Program, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7, a capsule he had helped to design.
After leaving NASA, Glenn entered public life, serving as Ohio Senator for nearly 25 years.
At the age of 77, John Glenn returned to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, making history again as the oldest person to leave the atmosphere. His mission included a scientific investigation into aging and space travel, comparing health records from his 1962 Mercury mission with those from the 1998 mission.
Glenn will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Remember the late John Glenn, President Obama said, “the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together.”