NASA remembers American legend John Glenn

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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.

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.

“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.
 

Astronaut John Glenn photographed in space by an automatic sequence motion picture camera during his flight on “Friendship 7.” Glenn was in a state of weightlessness traveling at 17,500 mph as these pictures were taken.

 

Mercury astronauts John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. Grissom and Alan B. Shepard Jr. standing by the Redstone rocket in their spacesuits.

 

On Feb. 23, 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy pays tribute to astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. for his February 1962 flight aboard Friendship 7.

 

After nine days and 3.6 million miles in space, orbiter Discovery prepares to land on runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility on Nov. 7, 1998. Discovery returns to Earth with its crew of seven after successfully completing mission STS-95.

 

U.S. Sen. John H. Glenn Jr., STS-95 payload specialist, focuses in on a target of opportunity as he participates in earth observations photography during the nearly nine-day Space Shuttle mission aboard Discovery.

 

 

STS-95 crew portrait: Curtis L. Brown Jr., commander, appears at right center in the pyramid. Others, clockwise, are Steven W. Lindsey, pilot; Stephen K. Robinson, mission specialist; Pedro Duque, mission specialist (ESA), payload specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai (NASDA); Scott E. Parazynski, mission specialist; and U.S. Senator John H. Glenn.

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