Live

Watch CBSN Live

John Glenn, pioneering astronaut and former senator, is hospitalized

Update: John Glenn has died at the age of 95.


Former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn has been hospitalized at the Ohio State University James Cancer Center, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State confirmed Glenn, 95, had been hospitalized, but said he did not know the diagnosis or the prognosis. Glenn’s executive assistant, Kathy Dancey, was not immediately available.

Glenn was the first American to launch into orbit in 1962 and is the last surviving astronaut of the original Mercury 7. 

He earned an indelible place in history on the morning of Feb. 20, 1962, when he strapped into the Friendship 7 spacecraft and blasted into space.

About five minutes after liftoff, the Friendship 7 capsule slipped into orbit around the Earth. Just under five hours later, mission accomplished, Glenn reentered the atmosphere and splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean, where he was picked up by a U.S. Navy ship. 

He was hailed as a national hero as the U.S. regained its footing in the space race with the Soviet Union.

Glenn went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from Ohio from 1979 to 1999.  

In 1998, at age 77, he went back into space as the oldest astronaut in history aboard the space shuttle Discovery as a test subject for a battery of medical experiments.

Glenn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — at a White House ceremony in 2012.

View CBS News In