Science

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

He also orbited the Moon as part of Apollo 10.

"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer", acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. Young went to space six times, walked on the moon and was the only astronaut to take part in all of the Gemini, Apollo and shuttle programs.

US astronaut Terry Virts said in a tweet: "Rest In Peace John Young".

He and crewmate Charles Duke gathered rock and soil samples and drove the lunar rover more than 16 miles (26km).

"John was one of that group of early space pioneers whose bravery and commitment sparked our nation's first great achievements in space", Mr Lightfoot said. Terry Virts: "You were one of my heroes as an astronaut and your passion for space will be missed". He retired in 2004 having served as the chief of the astronaut office, responsible for crew selection. Three years later he was selected as a NASA astronaut.

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

In his autobiography, he revealed that he felt responsible for the shuttle accidents of the Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003).

"The technical truth always has to be told, and telling it regardless of the consequences was one of my personality traits that people who knew me well learned to put up with", Young wrote in "Forever Young", his 2012 autobiography. He lived in the suburbs of Houston (Texas, South), near the NASA Space Center.

When asked what moment in his career was most memorable at his retirement from NASA in 2004, he replied, "I liked them all". "In retrospect, it's just so damn hard to believe that we hadn't pinpointed the problem". He was graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was an aviator in the Korean War and remained in the Navy as a test pilot until joining the astronaut corps.

Fellow astronaut Charles Bolden called Young and Robert "Hoot" Gibson the two best pilots he had ever known.

Former President George H.W. Bush is offering condolences on the death of astronaut John Young. With his first wife, Barbara White Young, he had two children, John Jr. and Sandra.

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