NASA Grieves the Death of John Young


John Young, astronaut

John Young, the astronaut and person to walk on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission, who also managed outer space shuttle flights, passed away on January, 5th, 2018 at the age of 87 after long-lasting battle with pneumonia. He started his career in 1967 as a pilot for NASA’s “new nine” class.

He was one of the first people to become a symbol of space pilot, the manifestation of NASA’s best practices. He worked during three generations of pilots, serving as an example of professionalism and determination.

His achievements in his career were significant for NASA in general, and his efforts helped the space agency literally reach the highest height. He was a person that never stops, so even after his 6 flights, he continued working in the industry.

John Young was inspired by President Kennedy’s amazing speech in 1961 where he wanted to make a person walk on the Moon for the first time, John took it as a challenge.

John Young spent three nights on the Moon, followed its paths for 16 miles, and stood on its surface and he thought it would be a great idea to come back on the Earth after the mission. He was on Gemini and Apollo programs and worked on space shuttles and he is the only one person to fly to the outer space for 6 times, or 7 to be precise taking into account his taking off from the lunar surface while being on Apollo 16 mission.

His place of birth is San Francisco, CA. As a child he moved to GA and FL and he spent his childhood with his brother. He was hypnotized by heights since he was a child, his hobby as a child was plane modelling. At the age of 5 his grandfather showed him how to read, and his first book was an encyclopedia.

He was inspired and motivated by his father, civil engineer. After he finished high school, he gained a degree in aeronautical engineering cum laude in 1952 from Georgia Institute of Technology.

After the university, he started to serve in Navy and a year after he was joining flight training. Then he was flying on destroyer airplanes for approximately 4 years. After he successfully passed the training test at Navy Air test center and served there for three years, he heard that speech of the President to walk the Moon.

His first flight took place in 1965, with Gemini 3 and Gus Grissom. It was the first manned mission within this program. He was a very responsible person, who didn’t let emotions get over him, so his tempering was always a motivation to others.