The world lost a true hero on Thursday. At the age of 95, John Glenn — the first American to orbit the Earth — passed away surrounded by those who loved him the most. Here’s a look at how the world is reflecting on the loss of this incredible individual.
Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, having outlived Scott Carpenter by three years. Prior to becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, Glenn was a distinguished war hero and fighter pilot.
Following his historic flight, Glenn dreamed of going back into space. But it was clear that was not going to happen, so he retired from NASA in 1964, and decided to run for office. He became a senator in 1974 and served the state of Ohio for 25 years. In 1998, while still in office, his dream of going back to space finally came true. At the age of 77, Glenn became the oldest person to ever fly in space when he launched on the space shuttle Discovery as part of STS-95.
Glenn touched the lives of many, as seen below. His legacy will live on, inspiring future generations of explorers.
His words inspired many.
Glenn was a role model, hero, and all-around badass.
Some people saw him as the “quintessential American hero.”
He believed in the importance of education.
Godspeed John Glenn, may your legacy continue to inspire others for generations to come.
The Marine Corps honored the esteemed fighter pilot as well.
Pharrell Williams paid tribute to the fallen hero. Williams helped produce the upcoming film Hidden Figures — a story about NASA’s human computers who ensured Glenn’s historic voyage was successful. Williams also wrote the soundtrack.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, has been recovering in a New Zealand hospital after falling ill during a recent trip to Antarctica. Though he is still recovering, he took a few minutes to express his feelings on the loss of a friend and fellow space pioneer.
“I’m saddened to hear that we have lost the pioneer of space flight for the United States. He will always go down in history as certainly one of the most influential officers in the Marine Corps and of course as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts,” Aldrin said in a statement on his website. “I join that crowd of people and the entire nation and the world in paying homage to his service.”
And of course, NASA, Jeff Bezos, ULA, and Elon Musk also took to Twitter to share their condolences and express how much Glenn meant to them and to the space industry.
Glenn will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Photos via NASA