Astronaut John Glenn, the 1st American to Orbit Earth, dies at 95

Dec 9, 2016 08:34 IST

John GlennFormer US astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, died on 8 December 2016. He was 95. The ex-Marine and Senator had been in hospital in Columbus, Ohio, for more than a week.

John Glenn was best known for circling the earth in 1962. He circled the planet aboard the Friendship 7 space capsule. This achievement of Glenn marked the moment the US caught up with the Soviet Union in manned space exploration.

After returning to Earth, Glenn was elected in 1974 as a Democrat to the US Senate, where he served for 24 years.

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John Glenn

He was the last of NASA's original seven astronauts to die.

He circled the world three times on board the Mercury capsule "Friendship 7" before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean on 20 February 1962.

At the age of 77, he also became the oldest person, worldwide, to fly into space. He went to the orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

He was the colonel in the US Marine Corps and flew combat flights during the Second World War and Korean War.

He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honours awarded by the United States and Congressional Gold Medal.

In 1959, he was named as an astronaut. He was named as the astronaut after he set a transcontinental speed record flying a jet to New York from California in three hours and 23 minutes.

Glenn served as an advisor to NASA until 1964.

Quick Digest

Who: Astronaut John Glenn

What: Died

When: 8 December 2016

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