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John Glenn Lies in Repose in Ohio as Public Begins to Say Goodbye

Glenn was expected to lie in repose for 8 hours Friday as mourners stopped by to pay tribute to him.
Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr.,pictured in January, 1962, is attired in a training version of a Mercury spacesuit, takes a break from training for the MA-6 mission scheduled for launch aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft.REX/Shutterstock
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The casket of astronaut John Glenn, draped in an American flag, lay in state at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday as the public came to pay their respects.

Glenn died last week at the age of 95 in Ohio, his home state. He was the first American to orbit the Earth and later served four terms in the U.S. Senate.

Glenn becomes the ninth person to lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse. Abraham Lincoln, former Ohio governors, and a 19th century Arctic explorer, Elisha Kent Kane, are among the others who have lain in repose there since the capitol building opened in the 1850s, according to the Associated Press.

Related: 'The Last True National Hero': John Glenn Dead at 95

The public viewing for Glenn started at noon Friday in the statehouse's ornate rotunda. Glenn was expected to lie in repose for 8 hours Friday as mourners stopped by to pay tribute to him, and a United States Marine honor guard solemnly stood watch.

It's the first of a series of memorials to Glenn, a war hero who served as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea before going to space.

On Saturday afternoon, a memorial service, open to the public, will be held at Ohio State University. Vice President Joe Biden is among those expected to speak.

Prior to the service, Glenn's body will be escorted to the Ohio State University auditorium by 40 Marines in a public processional.

Glenn's death last Thursday was announced by Ohio State University officials. He had struggled with a variety of health problems in recent years, including a stroke two years ago following heart valve replacement surgery.