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Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

07 January 2018, 06:39 | Marta Robbins

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

Astronaut John Young, a pioneer of the United States space program with six spacewalks and a landing on the moon, died at the age of 87, NASA announced Saturday.

"Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight", acting Nasa administrator Robert Lightfoot said. Young flew two Gemini, two Apollo and two shuttle missions and considered the first shuttle flight the most unsafe. He was the only moon walker to pilot a space shuttle, the first person to go into space six times and the only one to fly and command four types of spacecraft - Gemini, Apollo, lunar module and shuttle.

Legendary astronaut John Young died today.

In 1972, Young landed on the Moon himself during the Apollo 16 mission. Young flew twice to the Moon, walked on its surface & flew the first Space Shuttle mission. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know.

It was on this mission that Young pulled his sandwich stunt, which did not make NASA brass happy but certainly pleased Grissom, the recipient of the snack.

Young, left, with Robert Crippen, flew Columbia on STS-1, the Shuttle program's maiden flight in 1981.

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies
Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

On Apollo 10, in May 1969, Nasa performed what it called "a full dress rehearsal" for landing men on the moon two months later. When one of the flight instructors objected to media going in with a camera, Young stopped, looked at the instructor, and said "I flew this, I wrote the manual, and that's that".

He never went to space again. ABC News last interviewed Young in 2003, after the space shuttle Columbia accident.

Young's passing fell on the same day as George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush's 73rd wedding anniversary. NASA promoted him to Chief of the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office in 1973, and then the entire Astronaut Office, which oversees training and operations of the Astronaut corps.

His statement says "John was more than a good friend; he was a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our Nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time".

Born on September 24th, 1930, Young attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his degree in aeronautical engineering in 1952. But he was also described as a savvy engineer and a "test pilot's test pilot".

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