Godspeed to astronaut John Glenn, as he passes away aged 95 – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Godspeed to astronaut John Glenn, as he passes away aged 95


The world of space exploration has lost one of its more iconic figures.

Pioneering astronaut and former US senator John Glenn has sadly died aged 95.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth on board his Friendship 7 spacecraft, back in February 1962, becoming the fifth person in space.

He retired from active NASA missions in 1964 and almost immediately announced his intentions to run for the US Senate seat for his home state of Ohio. He was elected to the Senate in 1974, and served until 1999.

At the age of 77, Glenn became the oldest person to journey into space when he flew as Payload Specialist on board a Discovery mission.

The hero had suffered ill health in recent times, an was hospitalized at the time of his passing. The cause of death has not been specified.

President Barack Obama released a statement saying “With John’s passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend. John spent his life breaking barriers, from defending our freedom as a decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, to setting a transcontinental speed record, to becoming, at age 77, the oldest human to touch the stars. John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond–not just to visit, but to stay.

“Today, the people of Ohio remember a devoted public servant who represented his fellow Buckeyes in the U.S. Senate for a quarter century and who fought to keep America a leader in science and technology. Our thoughts are with his beloved wife Annie, their children John and Carolyn and the entire Glenn family. The last of America’s first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn.

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