NASA astronaut John Young has left the earth for good, 87 years old.
Being a veteran of two Gemini flights, two Apollo flights - one od which brought him ti the lunar surface - and two space shuttle missions under his belt, you can consider John Young one of the most broadly experienced astronaut of them all. No other astronaut has flown that many different missions.
Being chosen to NASA in the second batch of astronauts,John Young trained together with Gus Grissom for the first manned Gemini flight. He was the first (and only) astronaut to smuggle a corned beef sandwich into space. He then commanded Gemini 10 with Mike Collins as his pilot. Apollo 10 was flown by Young as Command Module Pilot. His colleagues Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan descended to 15 km above the lunar surface with the LM to pave the way for Apollo 11 that would fly next and would actually land.
Young did land on the moon with Apollo 16. Together with Charlie Duke he drove around in a lunar rover and spent 71 hours on the lunar surface, conducting three moon walks.
Then, in 1981, he commanded the first STS space shuttle mission, together with Bob Crippen. They spent two days in space with the new spacecraft to test it. Young's last space mission was STS-9 in 1983. All in all he is the only one who has flown four different types of spacecraft, Gemini, the Apollo, the Lunar Module and the Space Shuttle orbiter. He kept working for NASA until his retirement in 2004, when he was 74.
He died on the fifth of january. Clear Skies, John.
|photo: wikimedia / NASA|