John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, became the oldest human to venture into space on October 29, 1998 as a crew member of Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95).
John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard the Mercury capsule Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. This photo was taken of Glenn exiting Friendship 7, and was collected by the Senate Committee on Aeronautical Space and Science in 1965, who oversaw the operation of NASA at the time. After becoming a Senator in 1973, Glenn was invited by NASA to return to space over three decades after his first flight. Glenn became the oldest man to travel into space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on October 29, 1998.
Photo of John H. Glenn in Friendship 7, SEN 89A-F1, Records of the U.S. Senate
(Ed. Note: corrected first sentence to clarify that John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. Alan Shepard was the first American in space. Thanks Twitter user @imillis for the catch.)