NASA will honor John Glenn, one of the original seven NASA astronauts, with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award.

The award is being presented at 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday, Feb. 20 at the John Glenn Institute of Public Service and Public Policy, 300 Page Hall, Ohio State University, 1810 College Road, Columbus, Ohio. For information about the institute and media access to the event, contact: Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110; email:

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the 38 astronauts who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of space exploration from 1961 to 1972. The award is a small sample of lunar material encased in Lucite mounted for public display. The material is part of the 842 pounds of samples brought back to Earth during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Glenn’s award will be displayed at the institute.

Glenn was born in 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. As a Marine aviator, he flew combat missions during WW II and the Korean War. He was selected as one of the original NASA Mercury astronauts in April 1959. On Feb. 20, 1962, he piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 “Friendship 7” spacecraft on the first U.S. orbital mission, circling Earth three times during the four hour, 55 minute flight. In 1998, he completed his last space flight on the Space Shuttle Discovery, completing 134 Earth orbits during the nine-day mission.

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