NASA used Glenn’s flight to study the effects of space travel on an elderly person but the trek was a public relations hit for the agency. NASA arranged for several in-flight press conferences and educational events that allowed students in Ohio and Virginia to ask questions of Glenn and others.
10/29/98 The space shuttle Discovery, carrying John Glenn, takes off. Paul J. Milette/The Palm Beach Post
Related: How John Glenn made an impact on the Dayton area
Related: John Glenn: Last 'true American hero' dead at 95
Glenn lived a storybook life under the bright and constant glare of public attention, awe and adoration. The small-town Ohio boy married his childhood sweetheart, served as a fighter pilot in two wars, a test pilot, an astronaut and a U.S. Senator for 24 years.
He died Dec. 8, 2016 at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center at age 95.
In a Saturday, Oct. 31, 1998, image from television, U.S. Senator John Glenn, right, speaks to mission control during an experiment aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. (AP Photo/NASATV, File)