We are saddened to report the passing of astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. Best known for his 1962 mission circling the Earth in the space capsule Friendship 7, Glenn also became the oldest man to travel to space at age 77, on the shuttle Discovery in 1998.
A former Marine and U.S. Senator, Glenn was regarded as an American hero. He died at the age of 95 in his home state of Ohio, after being hospitalized for more than a week. He was surrounded by his children and his wife of 73 years, Annie. Glenn’s body will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse for a day, with a public memorial service to be held at Ohio State University. He is expected to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Ohio Governor John Kasich said of Glenn’s passing:
John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve. As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation.
Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!
NASA shared a tribute to Glenn on Twitter:
We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. A true American hero. Godspeed, John Glenn. Ad astra. pic.twitter.com/89idi9r1NB
— NASA (@NASA) December 8, 2016