New Delhi: John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth has died at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, December 8, 2016. He was 95 years of age.
Glenn had been battling health issues since a stroke a few years ago and had been hospitalised in Columbus since last week. His death Thursday was confirmed by Hank Wilson, communications director of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University.
Here are some important things to know about John Glenn:
- Born on July 18, 1921, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth when he rocketed into space on February 20, 1962, whose flight set the nation on course to meet ever-more ambitious goals.
- Born on July 18, 1921, John Herschel Glenn Jr was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio.
- On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space.
- Before joining NASA, he was a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, with five Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters.
- In 1998, Glenn made history a second time when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space. During the mission, the crew supported a variety of research payloads including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, and Glenn’s investigations on space flight and the aging process.
- He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
“Senator Glenn’s legacy is one of risk and accomplishment, of history created and duty to country carried out under great pressure with the whole world watching,” remembers NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.
NASA also describes him as a person 'who was all things and more'.