The Right Stuff...John Glenn - U.S. Marine Corps Pilot, Astronaut, and U.S. Senator

John Glenn Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom (201205290001HQ)

President Barack Obama presents former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator John Glenn with a Medal of Freedom, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Comment by Valentino Martinez on June 9, 2012 at 3:00am

Bravo!  A fitting honor for one of the true pioneers of U.S. Space Program.

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (born July 18, 1921) is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was combat aviator in the Marine Corps and one of the seven elite US military test pilots to be selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (more commonly referred to as "NASA") to test fly and operate the experimental Mercury spacecraft outside of the mesosphere at altitudes above 115 miles (185 km) and at speeds exceeding 5,000 miles per hour (8,000 km/h) to become the first officially recognized American (US) astronauts. He flew the Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962. In 1965, Glenn retired from the military and resigned from NASA so he could be eligible to stand for election to public office. As a member of the Democratic Party he was elected to represent Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974 to 1999.

Glenn received a Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. On October 29, 1998, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs, when at age 77, he flew on Discovery (STS-95). As of 2012, Glenn and M. Scott Carpenter are the last living members of the Mercury Seven.


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