Legendary JOHN GLENN, 88, slams NASA’s dismantling of Space Shuttle program thanks to OBAMA budget cuts.

As the ENQUIRER first told you in a series of blockbuster reports (see below) NASA’s space shuttle fleet is to be retired at the end of the year, leaving American astronauts at the mercy of foreign powers for vital space travel!

Glenn, who was the first American to orbit Earth in 1962 and return to space as a septuagenarian aboard the space shuttle, pointed out that to continue flying the shuttle beyond its "drop-dead date" gives American taxpayers more bang for their buck!

"We’ll spend almost as much buying our astronauts seats on Russia’s Soyuz as we would to keep the shuttles flying," Glenn said.

"The cost of continuing shuttle is really very tiny compared to the $100 billion investment we’ve made in the station, and keeping shuttle flying, we’ll have the biggest spaceship ever to carry seven [astronauts] and tons of cargo."

The retired astronaut-senator angrily voiced his concerns about the death of the American dream in Space in an eight-page letter released today.

"Why terminate a perfectly good system that has been made more safe and reliable through its many years of development?" Glenn asked of the administration.

Glenn points out the former Soviet Soyuz craft is highly capable of failure and in a worst case scenario without proper management the International Space Station’s orbit may decay, sending it plummeting to Earth with debris spanning twice the width of a football field menacing all below.

"We’re putting ourselves in line for a single-point failure ending the whole manned space program, and I don’t think we should be putting ourselves into that position."