The Oldest Person in Space
Ok, so maybe you didn’t make it to space by the time you were 26. No big deal – it’s never too late. John Glenn is perfect proof of that! It wasn’t enough for Mr. Glenn to be the first American to orbit the Earth – no. He needed another big title under his belt. Maybe more. On October 29, 1998, nearly forty years after he became the oldest human to travel in space – and he was a senator while doing it! He was seventy-seven years old at the time. His age served a purpose in the mission; he was serving as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging. They wanted to see how aging was impacted in space. Who better to help you figure that out than a tried-and-true astronaut?
After his world-renowned Earth orbit, NASA grounded John as a protective measure. They couldn’t risk this beloved astronaut’s life! John turned to politics, where he eventually won a seat in the Senate and won reelection three times. But it seems you can take the man out of the astronaut suit, but you can’t take the astronaut out of the man, because in 1998, John returned to space and retired from the Senate the following year – not before making a record of four consecutive terms in his state of Ohio. John Glenn died on December 8, 2016, at the age of 95.