Editor's note: John Glenn passed away on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Former NASA astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, has spent over a week in an Ohio hospital.
Glenn, now 95, was admitted to the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio last week, the Associated Press reports. No information about his condition or diagnosis has been made public at this time. Communications officer Hank Wilson of Ohio State University's John Glenn College of Public Affairs said that Glenn doesn't necessarily have cancer, despite the hospital's title. [Astronaut John Glenn: An American Hero's Monumental Career Remembered]
John Glenn became the first NASA astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962 during his Friendship 7 mission, which was part of NASA's Project Mercury spaceflight program. After retiring from NASA and the U.S. Marine Corps in 1964 and 1965, consecutively, he worked as a business executive until being elected U.S. senator for Ohio in 1974, where he served until 1999. In 1998, Glenn returned to space, setting the record for the oldest space traveler when he flew on the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77. [Photos: John Glenn, First American in Orbit]
Earlier this year, the Port Columbus International Airport was renamed after Glenn. During a ceremony at the airport, Glenn noted that his eyesight had deteriorated from macular degeneration after a small stroke.
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.