John Glenn è morto, fu il primo americano in orbita terrestre.

Il primo americano ad entrare in orbita il 20 febbraio 1962 è deceduto. John Glenn era l'ultimo sopravvissuto dei leggendari "seven" i primi sette astronauti selezionati dalla NASA. 
Ho avuto il raro privilegio di incontrarlo a Washington nel luglio del 2009 alla John Glenn lecture in occasione del 40° anniversario di Apollo 11.
Una figura leggendaria che merita di essere ricordato come fra i pionieri dell'astronautica e uomo assolutamente corretto e stimato da tutti.  Uomini come Glenn ne nascono veramente pochi. Buon viaggio caro John!

Washinghton (USA 20 luglio 2009, da sinistra: Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins e John Glenn

NASA release

NASA Remembers American Legend John Glenn

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the passing of Sen. John Glenn:"Today, the first American to orbit the Earth, NASA astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn, passed away. We mourn this tremendous loss for our nation and the world. As one of NASA's original Mercury 7 astronauts, Glenn's riveting flight aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, united our nation, launched America to the forefront of the space race, and secured for him a unique place in the annals of history. "While that first orbit was the experience of a lifetime, Glenn, who also had flown combat missions in both World War II and the Korean War as a Marine aviator, continued to serve his country as a four-term Senator from Ohio, as a trusted statesman, and an educator. In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest human to venture into space as a crew member on the Discovery space shuttle -- once again advancing our understanding of living and working in space. 
"He earned many honors for both his military and public service achievements. In 2012, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the country can bestow, and he also received the Congressional Gold Medal.
"Glenn's extraordinary courage, intellect, patriotism and humanity were the hallmarks of a life of greatness. His missions have helped make possible everything our space program has since achieved and the human missions to an asteroid and Mars that we are striving toward now.
"With all his accomplishments, he was always focused on the young people of today, who would soon lead the world. 'The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel,' he said. '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.'
"Senator Glenn's legacy is one of risk and accomplishment, of history created and duty to country carried out under great pressure with the whole world watching. The entire NASA Family will be forever grateful for his outstanding service, commitment and friendship. Personally, I shall miss him greatly. As a fellow Marine and aviator, he was a mentor, role model and, most importantly, a dear friend. My prayers go out to his lovely and devoted wife, Annie, and the entire Glenn family at this time of their great loss."
For more information about Glenn's NASA career, and his agency biography, see here.


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