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Legendary astronaut John Young dies
09 January 2018, 06:29 | Justin Tyler
John Young a US astronaut and moonwalker passes away at 87
He was a Navy test pilot before being part of the second group of astronauts hired by the NASA. Young on the shuttle flight, said he was an inspiration to every astronaut that knew about him.
He ended up as one of NASA's most experienced flyers, becoming the first astronaut to fly into space six times, and the only one to enter space in each of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs.
As the commander of the Apollo 16, he returned to the moon in 1972. Five men who walked on the moon are still alive.
"Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight", acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said.
"But, not content with that, his hands-on contributions continued long after the last of his six space flights - a world record at the time of his retirement from the cockpit".
Young had completed 6 space missions by 1983.
Young was a member of the first manned Gemini mission in 1965.
His second Gemini flight in July 1966 with Michael Collins included two spacewalks.
He finally walked on the moon himself in 1972 as commander of the Apollo 16 mission.
"The country needs that shuttle mighty bad", Young said.
Young was at the helm for the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, when Columbia rose into the sky in April 1981.
"Barbara and I join our fellow Americans and many friends in the space community in mourning the loss of astronaut John Young", Bush said in a statement.
"You don't want to be politically correct", he said in a 2000 interview with The Associated Press. He returned to Earth for the last time on December 8, 1983. He wrote astronauts who had launched on missions were "very lucky" to be alive.
Before our dinner meeting with John and Susy, I did some research on his career and looked forward to hearing details of his distinguished years as an astronaut as well as his work at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He retired at the end of 2004. In 1952, he graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He spent 835 hours in space, NASA said.
A USA destroyer and a stretch of Florida State Road 423 that runs through Orlando, called John Young Parkway, are named in his honor.
"He was a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time".
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