John Glenn recovering after heart surgery

Former astronaut and retired Ohio Sen. John Glenn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 30, 2008, before the House Science and Technology Committee hearing on NASA's past accomplishments, and future opportunities and challenges, marking 50th anniversary of NASA. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Former astronaut and retired Ohio Sen. John Glenn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 30, 2008, before the House Science and Technology Committee hearing on NASA's past accomplishments, and future opportunities and challenges, marking 50th anniversary of NASA. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Former astronaut and Ohio U.S. Senator John Glenn has had a heart valve replacement as he approaches his 93rd birthday.

A spokesman at Ohio State University says the first American to orbit Earth is recuperating. John Glenn School of Public Affairs spokesman Hank Wilson says Glenn is strong and healthy ahead of his birthday July 18.

Wilson said Wednesday that Glenn had a minimally invasive version of the valve replacement procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in May. He says Glenn is recovering well.

In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth as a member of the Mercury 7 program. He later spent more than two decades as a U.S. senator and returned to space at age 77 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

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