On October 29, 1998, the first American to orbit the Earth made history again. John Glenn became the oldest man to fly in space by serving as a payload specialist on STS-95 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.
On April 9, 1959, NASA introduced its first astronaut class, the Mercury 7, which included John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Jr., Donald K. “Deke” Slayton, M. Scott Carpenter, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.
On May 29, 2012, Glenn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
John H. Glenn
Before his 4-hour, 55-minute flight in the Friendship 7 capsule, Glenn had served as backup pilot for astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space who flew on May 5, 1961, and to Virgil "Gus" Grissom, who followed Shepard on a suborbital flight of his own.
On October 29, 1998, John Glenn became the oldest man to fly in space by serving as a payload specialist on STS-95 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.
Glenn spent most of his time in space participating in investigations on the aging process. Scientists recognize several parallels between the effects of spaceflight on the human body and the natural changes that take place as a person ages.
On March 1, 1999, the Lewis Research Center was officially renamed the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.
NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center, is a leading economic contributor to the Cleveland area. Glenn's main campus, Lewis Field, has world-class facilities including wind tunnels, drop towers, vacuum chambers, and a research aircraft hangar.
John Glenn was a NASA astronaut. He was part of the first group of astronauts NASA picked. He was the first American to orbit Earth. He also became a U.S. senator. Later, he became the oldest person to fly in space.
Astronaut John Glenn outside the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral.
Who was John Glenn?
Learning Resource for Students in Grades 5-8
In 1959, NASA selected its first group of astronauts, the “Mercury Seven.” They were called this because the seven men would fly on the Mercury spacecraft. In 1962, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit Earth.
February 1962 — Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., Mercury-Atlas 6 pilot.
What was Project Mercury?
Learning Resource for Students in Grades K-4
Astronauts made six flights during the Mercury project. Two of those went to space and came right back down. Four of them went into orbit and circled Earth. The first of the six flights was in 1961. The last flight was in 1963.