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Former NASA Astronaut and US Senator John Glenn Remembered

Dec 19, 2016 04:10 AM EST
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NASA's ICON satellite to study ionosphere, space weather

NASA commemorates the life of former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn after his demise last Dec. 8. Glenn was known as part of the agency's Mercury astronauts.

Glenn is the first American to successfully orbit the Earth just when the times were at its worse and space explorations are in its most challenging phase. He is considered a hero because he was part of the team that proved that the U.S. is capable of dominating the space race against Russia due to his flight on Feb. 20, 1962, aboard Friendship 7.

Aside from that, Glenn also holds the record as the oldest human being to perform a space mission. This is because of his nine-day Discovery orbiter duty in space launched on Oct. 29, 1998, when the former astronaut was already 77 years old. His presence helped scientists study the aging process.

His works on space science also reflected on his performance as a senator. And because of his contribution to both the scientific and space community, colleagues laud Glenn. "Even after leaving public life, he loved to meet with citizens, school children in particular. He thrilled to music and had a weakness for chocolate," Trevor Brown, dean of John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University said in a press release.

Other high-ranking officials also lauded Glenn's contribution to science and the society. "With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend," President Barrack Obama said in a press release. "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," Obama added.

NASA Administrator also expressed his admiration to the former astronaut. "Anybody who looks at John Glenn's life will recognize that John knew that he embodied taking care of people," Charles Bolden said in a statement.

Glenn died at the age of 95 but left a legacy in the name of public service and space science that the people of this generation and the next will look up to for a very long time.


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