NASA Mourns Loss of Astronaut John Young, Visited the Moon Twice

Lucy Bush
January 7, 2018

He flew the first Space Shuttle mission and had been to space multiple times in the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, the agency said in its tweet. NASA announced earlier today that Young passed away at the age of 87 due to complications from pneumonia.

Young was born on September 24, 1930, in San Francisco and grew up in Orlando, Florida.

The former US Navy test pilot flew into space twice during the Gemini programme of NASA in 1960's and twice on space shuttles. "You were one of my heroes as an astronaut and explorer and your passion for space will be missed".

At NASA, Young enjoyed a notable career.

He flew twice during the two-man Gemini missions of the mid-1960s, twice to the moon during NASA's Apollo program, and twice more aboard the new space shuttle Columbia in the early 1980s.

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Astronaut Wally Schirra, who was not flying on the mission, bought the corned beef sandwich on rye bread from a delicatessen in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and asked Young to give it to Grissom in space.

In May 1969 Young was part of the Apollo 10 mission that flew to the moon as a rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing two months later. The two spent nearly three days in space, completing 43 orbits of Earth.

Young began his career at NASA in 1962, when he was selected from hundreds of young pilots to join NASA's second astronaut class.

Image: NASA, Charles M. Duke Jr.

Young made a return trip to the Moon as commander of Apollo 16 in April 1972.

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Young flew to the moon twice and landed on it once.

"I thought returning safely to Earth sounded like a good idea", quips Young, who has stood on the Moon, driven 16 miles in a lunar rover and spent three nights on the lunar surface.

"Earth's geologic history is pretty clear: It says, quite frankly, that single-planet species don't last", Young said, according to a 2004 Houston Chronicle story. He served as chief of NASA's astronaut corps from 1974 to 1987, overseeing 25 shuttle flights during the program's formative years.

Young's fifth space mission was as commander of the inaugural flight of NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia, in 1981. It was the first time a piloted spacecraft was tested in space without previous orbital flights with nobody on board. He later served as Special Assistant to the Director of Johnson Space Center for Engineering, Operations, and Safety.

He retired from NASA in December 2004.

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Young died Friday night following complications from pneumonia, the USA space agency said in a statement.

Other reports by Info About Network

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