Thursday, December 08, 2016

Obituary: John Glenn

John Glenn, 95, an astronaut who made history by being the first American to orbit the earth and later had a long career as a U.S. Senator from Ohio, has died. Governor John Kasich announced the death today.

I was a little girl, but I full well remember John Glenn making his trip orbiting around the earth. He was a national, hell, a world celebrity, for his feat. It was in 1962, and I was in the first grade, but I remember it well.

Years later, when he was 77, he did it again.

It is hard to overstate his importance. He was a great person.

From the obit:

Mr. Glenn did not return to space for a long time. Kennedy thought him too valuable as a hero to risk losing in an accident. So Mr. Glenn resigned from the astronaut corps in 1964, became an executive in private industry and entered politics, serving four full terms as a Democratic senator from Ohio and in 1984 running unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Finally, 36 years after his Mercury flight, in the last months of his final Senate term, he got his wish for a return to orbit. Despite some criticism that his presence on the mission was a political payoff, a waste of money and of doubtful scientific merit, the hero of yesteryear brought out the crowds again, cheering out of nostalgia and enduring respect as he was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on Oct. 29, 1998. At 77, he became the oldest person to go into space.

Documentary of Glenn's space exploration:

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