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American Space Icon, US Senator John Glenn Dies

Sputnik News

23:23 08.12.2016(updated 00:14 09.12.2016)

John Glenn has died at the age of 95. He was a US astronaut and US senator that served the state of Ohio.

Glenn was the first American to successfully orbit the earth with NASA in 1962, circling the earth three times. He was the third American to go into space, and the fifth human being ever to leave earth aboard a spacecraft.

He is known for saying upon entering space, "Zero G and I feel fine."

Glenn had a decorated career, that included winning the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.

He died Thursday afternoon at the Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio where friends and family said their last goodbyes. Glenn is survived by his wife, Annie. The pair were married 73 years and had two children.

Robert Kennedy nudged Glenn to run for Senate in 1964, eyeing Glenn's service record in the Navy, Marines, in addition to his time with NASA. Glenn would go on to serve in the US Senate representing Ohio for 25 years, serving from 1974 until 1999.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson said Glenn was admitted to the hospital in Columbus. The hospital spokesperson declined having knowledge of Glenn's health status, but a family source told the Columbus Dispatch that his wife, children, and grandchildren joined Glenn in the hospital, knowing his condition was grave.

In 1998, Glenn returned to space at the age of 77 as the oldest astronaut in his unit aboard the Discovery. The flight offered more insight on weightlessness for a person entering space at two points in life 36 years apart. Given his age, scientists considered Glenn the ideal control subject for elderly people visiting space.

Before entering space, Glenn flew the blue skies as a pilot. As yet another facet of his decorated career and life, in 1957, Glenn became the first person in history to complete a supersonic transcontinental flight. He flew from Los Alamitos, California to Floyd Bennett Field, New York in less than three-and-a-half hours. The successful mission, Project Bullet, helped Glenn earn his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross.

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