Factbox: John Glenn's spaceflight

Glenn left Nasa in 1964 because he was not being given another flight. He later learned it was President John F Kennedy himself who'd grounded him. "There was so much national attention, I suppose it would have been bad if something had happened on a second flight," Glenn said.

Glenn finally got a second flight in 1998, as a member of a space shuttle crew. Then 77, he was a research subject for National Institutes of Health-sponsored experiments on aging.

Glenn spent 25 years as a Democratic senator from Ohio and ran for US president in 1984. He left the Senate in 1999.

Glenn and Scott Carpenter are the only two of the original Mercury Seven astronauts who are still alive.

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