John Herschel Glenn (born 18 July 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 a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original astronaut group. He orbited the Earth in Friendship 7 in 1962. After retiring from NASA, he entered politics as a Democrat and represented Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974 to 1999.
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- The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.
- As quoted in "Space All systems go for National Space Day" at CNN (4 May 2000); also at John Glenn Friendship 7 Day
- To me, there is no greater calling … If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something.
- On inspiring others to public service, as quoted in "John Glenn had the stuff U.S. heroes are made of" by Howard Wilkinson, in The Cincinnati Enquirer (20 February 2002)
- I don't think many people remember what life was like in those days … This was the era when the Russians were claiming superiority, and they could make a pretty good case — they put up Sputnik in '57; they had already sent men into space to orbit the earth… There was this fear that perhaps communism was the wave of the future. The astronauts, all of us, really believed we were locked in a battle of democracy versus communism, where the winner would dominate the world.
- As quoted in "John Glenn had the stuff U.S. heroes are made of" by Howard Wilkinson, in The Cincinnati Enquirer (20 February 2002)
- I pray every day and I think everybody should. I don't think you can be up here and look out the window as I did the first day and look out at the Earth from this vantage point. We're not so high compared to people who went to the moon and back. But to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is, to me, impossible. It just strengthens my faith.
- As quoted in Roger D. Launius. 2004. Frontiers of Space Exploration. Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 181. Interview: An American hero returns to space: John Glenn and the Sts-95 Shuttle Mission News Conference on Orbit (5 November 1998)
Quotes about Glenn
- Godspeed, John Glenn.
- NASA — John Glenn: A Journey
- John Glenn Honored as an Ambassador of Exploration
- John & Annie Glenn Historic Site and Home
- John Glenn School of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University
- John Glenn's Official NASA Biography
- John Glenn's Flight on Friendship 7, MA-6 – as heard on KCBS Radio
- John Glenn's Flight on the Space Shuttle, STS-95
- Spacefacts biography of John Glenn
- John Glenn Archive