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NASA's longest Naut explores the final frontier • The Register

Obit John Young, the first pilot of a space shuttle, and the longest-serving astronaut in NASA's history, died at the age of 87 due to complications caused by pneumonia.

Announcing his death on January 6, NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said: "NASA and the world have lost a pioneer.Astronaut John Young's career spanned three generations of space flights, we will get on his shoulders as we look to the next human frontier.

"John Young was at the forefront of human space exploration with his balance, talent and tenacity. He was in all senses the "astronaut astronaut". We will miss you. "

Young, who flew in the Gemini and Apollo missions, as well as in the Shuttle, was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Georgia and Florida in the United States, after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Aeronautical engineering, joined the Navy, and spent a year serving aboard a destroyer during the Korean War.

Then he became a pilot, completing his training in 1954. Subsequently, the young men trained and served as a pilot of tests., working on weapons systems and aircraft performance projects before joining NASA in 1962. He, along with Neil Armstrong, had been selected to form Astronaut Group 2, or "The New Nine", chosen by the agency for its flight experience and engineering and scientific experience.


While Young achieved many firsts during his career, such as flying six times in space and directing the shuttle inaugurates He and the Spacelab missions, a memorable feat was the smuggling of a corned beef sandwich. in space during his inaugural space flight in Gemini 3 in 1965. (You can read the transcript of Gemini 3 flight here [PDF].) The canned beef sandwich appears on page 45.

As part of the Apollo program, Young he traveled to the moon twice, the first time aboard the Apollo 10 in 1969, he flew around him exploring landing sites for Apollo 11. His second trip in 1972, at Apollo 16, allowed him to walk on the surface of the satellite Two years later, he became chief of the Astronaut Office, and was famous for his numerous memoranda and relentless efforts to improve the safety of astronauts, particularly after the Challenger disaster in 1986.

His last space flight In 1983 it ended dramatically, with Columbia in flames due to a propellant leak However, he successfully landed the shuttle.He continued as head of the astronaut office until 1987, when it was named He was a special assistant in engineering, operations and security, and later associate director, at the Johnson Space Center. After 42 years at NASA, she retired at the age of 74 on New Year's Eve 2004.

The director of the Johnson Space Center, and former astronaut, Ellen Ochoa said: "It would be difficult to exaggerate the impact that John Young took on human spaceflight.

"Beyond its six known and pioneering missions through three programs, it worked tirelessly for decades to understand and mitigate the risks facing NASA astronauts. He had our back. "

Young is survived by his second wife, Susy Feldman, and his two sons, John and Sandra, from his first marriage to Barbara White, which ended in divorce. ®

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