Raumfahrt - Astronaut John Glenn (1921-2016) verstorben




President Kennedy honors John Glenn at Cape Canaveral on 23 February 1962. James Modarelli’s NASA insignia is proudly displayed at the festiv- ities. (NASA KSC-62PC-0014)


Former senator, astronaut John Glenn dies at 95 


(CNN)John Glenn, a former US senator and the first American to orbit the Earth, died Thursday, according to Ohio State University. He was 95. 

It was announced Wednesday that Glenn had been hospitalized "more than a week ago," according to Ohio State University spokesman Hank Wilson. He was at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University, but his illness was not disclosed.
Glenn had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014.
President Obama released a statement Thursday afternoon to honor Glenn.
"When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there's no limit to the heights we can reach together. 
"With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend. John spent his life breaking barriers, from defending our freedom as a decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, to setting a transcontinental speed record, to becoming, at age 77, the oldest human to touch the stars. John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond--not just to visit, but to stay. 
"Today, the people of Ohio remember a devoted public servant who represented his fellow Buckeyes in the U.S. Senate for a quarter century and who fought to keep America a leader in science and technology. Our thoughts are with his beloved wife Annie, their children John and Carolyn and the entire Glenn family. The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn."
Social media was flooded with remembrances and reactions immediately after news of his death.
Quelle: CNN
Update: 9.12.2016

John Glenn, first American to orbit Earth, dies aged 95

  • Glenn as an astronautImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAt age 77 Glenn became the oldest man to travel to space

Former astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, has died at 95.

The ex-Marine and US Senator had been in hospital in Columbus, Ohio, for more than a week and died surrounded by his children and wife of 73 years.

Glenn is best known for circling the earth in 1962 aboard the Friendship 7 space capsule.

His achievement marked the moment the US caught up with the Soviet Union in manned space exploration. 

Glenn is expected to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Obituary: John Glenn

"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!" Ohio Governor John Kasich said in a statement.


After returning to Earth, Glenn was elected in 1974 as a Democrat to the US Senate, where he served for 24 years.

He blazed another trial in 1998 - 36 years after his historic flight - when he became the oldest man to travel to space, at age 77.

The only son of a plumber and schoolteacher, Glenn was born in 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio.

His father would recall how the boy used to run around the yard with arms held wide, pretending to fly a plane.

Glenn prepares to orbit the earthImage copyrightNASA
Image captionGlenn prepares to orbit the earth

Glenn retained a lifelong love of flight and was piloting his own aircraft as recently as five years ago.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Annie Castor, and they had two children, David and Lyn.

Glenn's wife still has the $125 diamond engagement ring he bought for her in 1942.

He became a combat pilot, serving in World War II and the Korean War before joining America's space agency.

Glenn earned six Distinguished Flying Crosses and flew more than 150 missions during the two conflicts.

After setting the transcontinental flight speed record as a test pilot, he joined Mercury 7, America's first class of astronauts.

On 20 February 1962, he blasted off solo from Cape Canaveral aboard a cramped capsule on an Atlas rocket to a new frontier for Americans. 

John Glenn at Nasa in 1963Image copyrightAP
Image captionJohn Glenn at Nasa in 1963

He spent just under five hours in space, completing three laps of the world.

"Zero G (gravity) and I feel fine," was Glenn's remark on weightlessness. 

His capsule's heat shield came loose, leading Mission Control to fear he would be incinerated on re-entry, but the craft held together. 

John GlennImage copyrightNASA

After splashdown in the Atlantic, Glenn was treated to a New York ticker-tape parade.

During his political career he was briefly considered as a running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.

But Glenn's star dimmed after a meandering keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention that led Mr Carter to call him "the most boring man I ever met".

He vied himself to be the party's White House standard-bearer in 1984, but was beaten by Mr Carter's Vice-President, Walter Mondale.

John Glenn (L) President John F Kennedy (M) and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson ® inspect the Friendship 7 capsuleImage copyrightAP
Image captionJohn Glenn (L), President John F Kennedy (M) and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson (R) inspect the Friendship 7 capsule

Glenn's business career, which included an investment in a chain of Holiday Inns, made him a multi-millionaire.

When he returned to space in 1998, despite the misgivings of his wife, he said in a news conference from orbit: "To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible."

In 2011, Glenn received the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian award. 

obama gives glenn a medalImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPresident Obama presents John Glenn with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

A year later, President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr Obama said in a statement on Thursday that Glenn had "spent his life breaking barriers".

Nasa tweeted that he was "a true American hero".

"Godspeed, John Glenn. Ad astra."

Quelle: BBC

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