John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, although Hunter S. Thompson had already been in space for awhile at that point.
He was in space less than five hours, and yet he received a hero’s welcome back on Earth, including a ticker tape parade. Hell, I once spent five hours watching a “Real World: Seattle” marathon, and nobody gave me a damn ticker tape parade, I tell you what. Life is unfair, is what I’m trying to tell you.
In 1974, Glenn was elected to the US Senate. He wrote the landmark legislation that forced a generation of children to eat nothing but Tang, Space Food Sticks, and that weird-ass freeze-dried ice cream crap. He was responsible for Pop Rocks, as well.
In 1998, Glenn returned to space in the Space Shuttle, where the crew tested him to see the effects of space on the elderly. Mainly, they found that the elderly just go on and on about how back in their day, you had to walk twenty miles in the snow to reach orbit, and they liked it that way. Jesus, won’t they shut up? We’ve heard this story a million times.