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Remembering John Glenn, An American Hero

posted: 12/09/16
by: Mary Beth McAndrews
John Glenn in front of Friendship 7
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John Glenn in front of Friendship 7
NASA

At the age of 95, John Glenn has passed away. Glenn was an American astronaut, aviator, and hero. His service lead him to become a symbol for America's voyage into space and ultimately quell the anxieties of the nation during the Cold War. He encouraged and nurtured our curiosities about the world above us. We've lost a hero.

Before John Glenn was an astronaut, he was a pilot in World War II and the Korean War. Besides flying countless combat missions, he was the first to make a transcontinental supersonic flight.

In 1959, with his proven prowess as a pilot, Glenn applied to be an astronaut of the newly-formed NASA. He was chosen later that year as one of the seven original astronauts. While he was not the first American astronaut to enter space, he was able to achieve another special milestone.

John Glenn
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John Glenn
NASA

On February 20, 1962, he boarded the Friendship 7 and became the first human to orbit the Earth. This wasn't only an achievement for NASA; it was an achievement for America. During that time, Americans were worried they were falling behind Russia in terms of technology. However, after Glenn orbited the Earth, those anxieties seemed to have been relieved.

While Glenn retired in 1964 to run for office, that wasn't his last time in space. He would return in 1998 at age 77, making him the oldest person to ever go into space. Glenn didn't let his age hold him back. He said, "Just because I'm 77 doesn't mean I don't have a dream." This voyage let NASA study the effects of space travel on the elderly.

John Glenn once said, "I'm not interested in my legacy. I made up a word: 'live-acy.' I'm more interested in living." And boy, did he live.

Rest in Peace, John Glenn. You were a true legend and you will never be forgotten.

HELLO
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