Footage of what is believed to be John Glenn’s final public appearance has emerged in the wake of his passing at 95.
The first American astronaut to orbit the Earth was honored in June in his home state of Ohio when the Columbus airport was renamed in his honor.
The news of Glenn’s death had Americans around the country mourning the former senator who ventured into space multiple times and fought for his country during World War II and the Korean War.
Astronaut Mark Kelly took to Instagram to pay his respects for one of the founding fathers of American space travel, calling him "a real explorer with real guts."
Kelly said that working with Glenn "was like a rookie playing baseball alongside Babe Ruth or a kid getting music lessons while Mozart composed in the next room.”
He added: “He not only inspired us and a generation of explorers, but he also inspired our nation to set big goals that moved our space program and country forward.”
John Glenn was a real explorer with real guts. My brother @stationcdrkelly and I had the fortune of getting to know John as he trained for his final mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. For a pair of young astronauts like us, showing up to work next to John Glenn was like a rookie playing baseball alongside Babe Ruth or a kid getting music lessons while Mozart composed in the next room. He not only inspired us and a generation of explorers, but he also inspired our nation to set big goals that moved our space program and country forward. John Glenn’s determination served him as well on Earth as it did in space. After serving in WWII and Korea as a fighter pilot, he represented his home state of Ohio as a United States Senator for four terms. He gave back to the country as a public servant and exemplified what it means to live a full life. At the time of his death, he was 95 years-old and had been married to his college sweetheart for 72 years; a life we would all be lucky to have. It was the idealism of the early Mercury pioneers like John Glenn that helped pave the way for Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, the space shuttle program, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars rovers, and the International Space Station. And as we stand on the precipice of a new era of exploration to Mars and beyond, we do so on the shoulders of the brave explorers like John Glenn who came first. It’s with deep sadness and endless gratitude that I say: “Godspeed, John Glenn.”
Glenn, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps., was mourned by the Marines on Twitter.
The Corps lost a legend today.— U.S. Marines (@USMC) December 8, 2016
Col. John Glenn— an astronaut, a senator, a Marine— died at the age of 95.
Semper Fi, Sir. pic.twitter.com/xUShqC9JaZ
NASA paid their respects to Glenn, who in 1998, became the oldest person to ever venture into space at 77.
We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. A true American hero. Godspeed, John Glenn. Ad astra. pic.twitter.com/89idi9r1NB— NASA (@NASA) December 8, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump called Glenn a “hero” on Twitter.
Today we lost a great pioneer of air and space in John Glenn. He was a hero and inspired generations of future explorers. He will be missed.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also eulogized the astronaut.
Saddened to hear of the passing of a US hero/astronaut/statesman. His courage inspired a generation to explore & serve. Godspeed John Glenn— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) December 8, 2016
In a lengthy post on Facebook, President Obama honored the hero, saying: "John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond—not just to visit, but to stay."
He is survived by Annie, his wife of 73 years. The couple had two children together, John David, 70, and Carolyn Ann, 69.
The man who touched the stars once said: “People are afraid of the future, of the unknown. If a man faces up to it and takes the dare of the future, he can have some control over his destiny.”