USA astronaut John Young dies aged 87

Marsha Scott
January 7, 2018

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.

Across a 42-year career at NASA, Young was a relentless advocate for flight safety, firing off countless memos that occasionally made him a thorn in the side of NASA management, especially in the wake of the 1986 Challenger disaster.

The former US Navy test pilot flew into space twice during the Gemini programme of NASA in 1960's and twice on space shuttles.

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield echoed that on Twitter, saying "John Young is one of my heroes, an astronaut's astronaut, a fearless individual and a good friend".

Young made his first flight as an astronaut in 1965, joining astronaut Gus Grissom on Gemini 3, the first manned flight of the early NASA human spaceflight program that helped the agency get ready for the Apollo moon landings. "He was in every way the 'astronaut's astronaut'". "To us, he represented the best in the American spirit - always looking forward, always reaching higher".

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"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.

"John leaves a tremendous legacy of accomplishment, in addition to his wonderful family". "May his memory serve to inspire future generations of explorers to dare greatly, act boldly and serve selflessly".

Young was born in San Francisco California but grew up in Georgia, Florida.

He then joined the Navy and, after a year's service aboard a destroyer, was sent to flight training. He spent 835 hours in space, NASA said. He served as chief of NASA's astronaut corps from 1974 to 1987, overseeing 25 shuttle flights during the program's formative years.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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