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John Glenn Pic courtesy NASA
John Glenn
was born on: 
Mon, 18/07/1921
Cambridge, Ohio, USA
and died on: 
Thu, 08/12/2016
Columbus, Ohio, USA

John Glenn was a true pioneer of manned space flight. While two Americans, Alan Shephard and "Gil" Grissom had been to the edge of space, it was Russia which put Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov into space proper. John Glenn, a year later, orbited earth just three times. But he landed safely and proved that the USA could establish itself as an astronaut power. He wanted to take part in the Apollo missions, but NASA considered him a national treasure, too valuable to risk. So he left the industry and established himself with a career in politics.

But the yearning was still there: just as his last term in the US Senate was due to end, he travelled in the Shuttle Discovery. On 29 October 1999, at 77 years old, he became a the oldest spaceman yet.

He is survived by his wife, Anna. They were married 73 years.

Photo courtesy NASA

Editorial Staff