Astronaut John Young, who walked on moon twice, dies

Astronaut John Young, who walked on moon twice, dies

Spaceflight just lost one of its better-known icons: NASA astronaut John Young has died at the age of 87.

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.

Astronaut John Young, who walked on moon twice, dies

Young is the only U.S. astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes and the first to fly into space six times, said NASA. He was also a recipient of more than 80 other major awards, according to NASA. Counting his takeoff from the moon in 1972 as commander of Apollo 16, his blastoff tally stood at seven, for decades a world record. He flew to the moon twice. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know. 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. "In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is". He was part of the Apollo 10 crew that orbited the moon in May 1969 in preparation for the first landing later that year. He was scheduled to fly for a seventh time to launch the Hubble Space Telescope in 1986, only to have that mission scrubbed following the loss of Space Shuttle Challenger.

Young was one of the three astronauts to travel twice to the moon.

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In 1981, he served as Commander of STS-1, the first space shuttle mission, which some have called "the boldest test flight in history".

He never went to space again.

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Former President George H.W. Bush is offering condolences on the death of astronaut John Young.

In news interviews and testimony to the presidential commission that investigated the accident, he warned that space shuttles would continue to reveal defects. 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. 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.

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He was born in 1930 and grew up in Orlando, Florida. From there, he joined the US Navy, served aboard the USS LAWS during the Korean War, and went on to attend the Navy Test Pilot School.

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