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

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

John Young, a legendary U.S. astronaut who went into space six times, orbited the moon and then walked on its craggy surface, has died, NASA announced Saturday. Nasa said he died on Friday following complications from pneumonia.

The former US Navy test pilot was the ninth person to set foot on the moon, an experience shared by three others after Young.

Young was in NASA's second astronaut class, chosen in 1962, along with the likes of Neil Armstrong, Pete Conrad and James Lovell.

He was also the first to make six spacewalks and, at one point, held the record for longest time spent in space, according to NASA.

His May 1969 Apollo 10 mission served as a "dress rehearsal" for the historic Apollo 11 mission two months later in which Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer", Robert Lightfoot, NASA administrator, said in a statement.

USA astronaut Terry Virts said in a tweet: "Rest In Peace John Young".

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

Ten years later, he was selected to join NASA and in 1965 he made he made his first trip to space with Gus Grissom on Gemini 3. The crew tested the lander module in lunar orbit without landing it.

Young salutes the United States Flag as he leaps from the surface of the Moon near the lunar lander.

As mission commander, he and crewmate Charles Duke explored the moon's Descartes Highlands region, gathering 200 pounds (90 kg) of rock and soil samples and driving more than 16 miles (26 km) in the lunar rover to sites such as Spook Crater. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know.

In his autobiography, he revealed that he felt responsible for the shuttle accidents of the Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003). "In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is".

Young was born in San Francisco and grew up in Orlando.

"He is the astronaut's astronaut, a hero among heroes who fly in space". He went on to study aeronautical engineering at Georgia Tech, where he graduated with highest honors in 1952.




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