TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Former Astronaut John Glenn died at the age of 95 Wednesday afternoon in a Columbus hospital.
His public-service career spanning five decades had an impact on the lives of many.
Glenn's work as an astronaut can be felt right here in northwest Ohio. Right when you walk through the doors of the Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West in Oregon, you can see John Glenn's photo on the Ohio Wall of Astronauts.
Glenn was on the national advisory board for the Challenger Learning Center, a global network created to continue the mission of the Challenger's crew.
His name came up quite a bit to the visiting students.
"He was the first American to orbit in space. He was also the oldest. We tell our students, we have the Ohio Wall of Astronauts, that he was 77 years old when he did that. That's remarkable. We tell students, 'imagine your grandma or grandpa doing that. It's certainly something to aspire to,'" says Tyler O'Brien, Interactive Science Specialist Team Leader at the Challenger Center.
Glenn also set many records as a pilot with the Marine Corps.
He's a true American hero, and that's what students learn about when they visit the Challenger Center for simulated space missions to places like the moon and Mars.
"I believe his message would be to continue to be greater than the day you were before. Continue to always strive to be the best so you can go forward and change the world one step at a time," says O'Brien.
Because of John Glenn, more than 5,000 students a year come through the Challenger Learning Center to be inspired by space exploration.