John Glenn died today, at the age of 95. And while his many, many accomplishments—first American to orbit the Earth, U.S. senator for 24 years, and, at 77, the oldest man ever to fly in space—will be celebrated in the coming days, it’s worth pointing out that what largely propelled those achievements was Glenn’s never-ending sense of curiosity.

“Every bit of human progress, that’s ever been made, occurred because somebody was curious about doing things in a new or different or combination-with-something-else way,” Glenn explains in this video, shot in 2008 in Columbus, Ohio, about an hour away from where Glenn grew up, in New Concord, Ohio. 

He went to space twice—once to orbit the Earth, and once as a 77-year-old—and was one of only 10 individuals to have been honored more than once in their lifetimes with a ticker-tape parade in New York City. 

John Glenn was an American hero. Long live John Glenn.