In 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times on board the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7, just one year after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed the first orbit of the Earth (12 April 1961). He became at the same time the third American in Space and the fifth human in Space. Many years later, in 1998, Glenn set yet another record, becoming the oldest person to go into space at the age of 77, when he spent more than 9 days on board the space shuttle Discovery.
Sadly I never had the opportunity to meet John Glenn in person. However, myself and Joan Vernikos (former Director of NASA Space Life Sciences division - pictured with him above), were honoured to have the Foreword of our book written by him - Gravidade, Esta Grande Escultora (EdiPucrs).
With the death of John Glenn, the last chapter closes on the Mercury 7, the seven original American astronauts chosen to pilot the manned spaceflights of the Mercury program (1961 - 1963), all of whom have now died - may they all rest in peace.