With an inspired dream, John Glenn reached for the stars and ended up sitting among them.
It could be said that former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn lived a storied life. Even before he went into space at the age of 77, he was the first person to orbit the Earth (which he did aboard “Friendship 7” in 1962), had flown 59 combat missions in World War II, earned the Distinguished Flying Cross six times and was elected as a United States Senator for four consecutive terms (with some of the largest voter margins in history). By anyone’s estimation, Glenn’s life was already brimming with incredible accomplishments and extremely impressive moments. But he was far from done making history.
Glenn continued to hold further dreams and pursued them into his later years. In 1998, when he was 77 years old, Glenn became the oldest man to fly in space when he served as a payload specialist for the space shuttle known as “Discovery.” The mission lasted a full nine days, during which time Glenn also conducted experiments on the aging process in humans. When all was said and done, the Discovery orbited the Earth 134 times and traveled 3.6 million miles in total and marked another great stride in space exploration.
“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.” – John Glenn
Glenn is an inspiration of hard work, relentless dreaming, and a life well lived. He never stopped trying to learn more and contribute to the world around him. It’s not hard to see that this remarkable man continued to get better – and dream even more – with age.
Photo Credit: NASA
#BestWithAge A Blog Series About How the Human Spirit Shines Brightest with Time