President HW Bush offers condolences on passing of astronaut John Young

Aaron Brown
January 7, 2018

USA astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon in 1972 and was the only person to fly with three NASA space programs, has died aged 87.

In 1981, meanwhile, he commanded the first space shuttle flight. However, that was just one of a series of achievements. He was part of the Apollo 10 crew that orbited the moon in May 1969 in preparation for the first landing later that year.

Astronaut Terry Virts tweeted: "Rest In peace John Young".

Two years later, on STS-9, his final spaceflight, Young landed the space shuttle with a fire in the back end, according to NASA.

We mourn the passing of astronaut John Young, who began his career with us in 1962, when he was selected from hundreds of young pilots for our second astronaut class.

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A veteran Navy test pilot and Georgia Tech graduate who brought an engineer's keen eye to three generations of spacecraft and NASA management, Young was the first man to fly in space six times and the only astronaut to fly aboard Gemini and Apollo capsules and the space shuttle. "He was in every way the 'astronaut's astronaut'". "Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier", NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.

Retired U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly said he was saddened by the loss and called Young in a tweet "the astronauts' astronaut, a true legend". "To us, he represented the best in the American spirit - always looking forward, always reaching higher".

He then joined the Navy and, after a year's service aboard a destroyer, was sent to flight training.

When asked what moment in his career was most memorable at his retirement from NASA in 2004, he replied, "I liked them all".

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