John Young, Nasa astronaut who walked on the moon, dies aged 87

John Young, Nasa astronaut who walked on the moon, dies aged 87

Legendary astronaut John Young died Saturday.

Young is the only astronaut who took part in the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes.

Mr Young received more than 100 major accolades in his lifetime, including the prestigious Congressional Space Medal of Honour in 1981.

In 1972, as Commander for the Apollo 16 mission, Young became the ninth person to walk. While Young flew close formation on the second Agena, Mike Collins did an extravehicular transfer to retrieve a micro meteorite detector from that Agena.

Young orbited the moon on Apollo 10 in May 1969 in preparation for the Apollo 11 landing that was to follow. Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan were also on this mission which orbited the Moon, completed a lunar rendezvous, and tracked proposed lunar landing sites. Bouncing along the lunar surface in a four-wheeled rover, he and Charlie Duke collected 200 pounds of rock specimens.

He hung on for the space shuttle, commanding Columbia's successful maiden voyage in 1981 with co-pilot Robert Crippen by his side. Young was an astronaut's astronaut.

John Young, Nasa astronaut who walked on the moon, dies aged 87
John Young, Nasa astronaut who walked on the moon, dies aged 87

Twenty years later, the Columbia - the space shuttle Mr. It was the first time NASA had ever launched a manned mission without first testing unmanned versions of the same vehicle.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Mr Young maintained Nasa should be developing massive rockets to lift payloads to the moon to industrialise it, he said, and building space systems for detecting and deflecting comets or asteroids that could threaten Earth. Young became a forthright voice for astronaut safety. The Spacelab was brought back for re-use, so that Columbia weighed over 110 tons as Young landed the spaceship at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He showed us the space shuttle trainer in Building 9, were astronauts learn how to fly the orbiter.

Young was an aeronautical engineer who later in his NASA career served as the chief of the astronaut office, choosing those who would fly on the shuttle.

Sandwiches had already flown in space, he said in his book, but Nasa brass and Congress considered this a multimillion-dollar embarrassment and outlawed corned beef sandwiches in space forever.

Young's sixth flight was as Spacecraft Commander of STS-9, the first Spacelab mission, November 28-December 8, 1983, with Pilot Brewster Shaw, Mission Specialists Bob Parker and Owen Garriott, and Payload Specialists Byron Lichtenberg of the U.S. and Ulf Merbold of West Germany. He later served as Special Assistant to the Director of Johnson Space Center for Engineering, Operations, and Safety. According to David Hitt and Heather R. Smith in Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986, Young learned that Congress had approved funds for the development of NASA' next big project, the Space Shuttle.

While Young retired from NASA in 2004, he remained a constant figure at the agency, Young remained at NASA until 2004, when he retired at the age of 74. He continues to advocate the development of the technologies that will allow us to live and work on the Moon and Mars.

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