The Associated Press reports:
John Glenn, an astronaut, senator and old-fashioned American hero, died Thursday at the age of 95, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Glenn was the last survivor of the Mercury 7, selected in 1959 as NASA’s first group of astronauts. He became the first American to orbit the Earth on Feb. 20, 1962. It was a solo flight, not everything went as planned in space, and Glenn personified cool under pressure.
Those nerves had earlier served him well as a much-decorated veteran of two wars and a military test pilot ― and perhaps they came in handy later in his 24 years in the U.S. Senate representing his native state of Ohio.
His most famous accomplishment, however, came when he was launched into space in February 1962 in a tiny Mercury capsule atop an Atlas rocket. In the span of four hours and 55 minutes, Glenn orbited the Earth three times aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft, at a maximum altitude of around 162 miles and an orbital velocity of nearly 17,500 miles per hour.