Today, October 29, is a special day in NASA history as astronaut John Glenn became the oldest person to travel in space. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth aboard Mercury’s Friendship 7, orbiting Earth three times in about five hours. Alan Shepard and Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom, where the first American’s in space, but did not travel all the way around the planet.

What makes this day so special is Glenn, at the age of 77, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, served as payload specialist and participated in experiments to test how an elderly person’s body reacts to the weightlessness of space. For his service to the country as a Marine Corp pilot, Astronaut, Ohio Senator and oldest person in space, John Glenn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.