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NASA Remembers American Legend John Glenn by NASA Press Release
Review by Charles Mohapel
NASA News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM161211LEGEND
Date: 11 December 2016

Links: NASA Press Release / NASA -- John Glenn Biography / NASA -- Who Was John Glenn? / NASA Training Video /

On December 8, 2016, the World lost a great man when John Glenn passed away at the age of 95.  Marine Colonel John Glenn flew 149 combat missions as a fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross six times.  Astronaut John Glenn, one of the first group of American astronauts known collectively as the "Mercury 7", he was the firsr American to orbit the earth aboard Friendship 7.  Four times a Democratic Senator from Ohio, he was respected on both sides of the aisle.  In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest human to venture into space as a crew member on the Space Shuttle Discovery.  God Speed, John Glenn.

President Barack Obama presents former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator John Glenn with a Medal of Freedom, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the passing of Sen. John Glenn:

"Today, the first American to orbit the Earth, NASA astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn, passed away.  We mourn this tremendous loss for our nation and the world.  As one of NASA's original Mercury 7 astronauts, Glenn's riveting flight aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, united our nation, launched America to the forefront of the space race, and secured for him a unique place in the annals of history. 

"While that first orbit was the experience of a lifetime, Glenn, who also had flown combat missions in both World War II and the Korean War as a Marine aviator, continued to serve his country as a four-term Senator from Ohio, as a trusted statesman, and an educator.  In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest human to venture into space as a crew member on the Discovery space shuttle -- once again advancing our understanding of living and working in space. 

"He earned many honors for both his military and public service achievements.  In 2012, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the country can bestow, and he also received the Congressional Gold Medal.

"Glenn's extraordinary courage, intellect, patriotism, and humanity were the hallmarks of a life of greatness.  His missions have helped make possible everything our space program has since achieved and the human missions to an asteroid and Mars that we are striving toward now.

"With all his accomplishments, he was always focused on the young people of today, who would soon lead the world.  'The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and advance the kind of science, math, and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel,' he said.  'To me, there is no greater calling...  If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something.'

"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.  The entire NASA Family will be forever grateful for his outstanding service, commitment, and friendship.  Personally, I shall miss him greatly.  As a fellow Marine and aviator, he was a mentor, role model, and, most importantly, a dear friend.  My prayers go out to his lovely and devoted wife, Annie, and the entire Glenn family at this time of their great loss."

For more information about Glenn’s NASA career, and his agency biography, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/johnglenn

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