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Navy ship christened in honor of astronaut John Glenn

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john glenn shipSAN DIEGO – The military christened a Navy cargo ship named after John Glenn, the former astronaut and U.S. senator.

Glenn attended the public ceremony held at General Dynamics shipyard, with his wife and daughter, Lyn, who served as the ship’s sponsor.

Glenn was a Marine aviator in World War II and Korea, the first American to orbit the Earth on Friendship 7 in 1962 and flew aboard the Discovery space shuttle in 1998 at the age of 77. He represented Ohio in the Senate for 25 years before retiring in 1999.

“The christening of the future USNS John Glenn, a ship that will help usher in a new age of Navy and Marine Corps operations, is a fitting tribute to a man whose years of service to his nation as a Marine, a U.S. senator and an astronaut helped shape the future of the United States itself,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said.

The 785-foot vessel will include 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment storage space, and hold 100,000 gallons of potable water and 380,000 gallons of fuel. It will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

It’s designed to speed the transfer of military hardware from sea to shore quickly, without depending on foreign ports.