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Moon Space

John Young, Legendary Astronaut, Dies at Age 87 (cbsnews.com) 41

Legendary astronaut John Young -- who walked on the moon and piloted the first space shuttle -- died Friday at the age of 87. schwit1 shares a nice profile from CBS News: A naval aviator and test pilot, Young logged more than 15,275 hours flying time in a variety of aircraft, including 9,200 hours in T-38 jets. He spent 835 hours in space across his six NASA flights, serving as co-pilot of the first Gemini mission in 1965, commander of a second Gemini flight in 1966, lunar module pilot for Apollo 10 in 1969, commander of Apollo 16 in 1972 and commander of the first shuttle flight in 1981... Young was the first man to fly in space six times and the only astronaut to fly aboard Gemini and Apollo capsules and the space shuttle... He also brought a legendary cool nerve to an inherently dangerous job that amazed his compatriots. "I found out from the flight surgeon later on that my heartbeat was 144 at liftoff," Charlie Duke, one of Young's crewmates on the Apollo 16 moon landing mission, said of his reaction to launch atop a Saturn 5 rocket. "John's (heartbeat) was 70".
On one space shuttle flight, two of the ship's three auxiliary power units actually caught on fire, and exploded just minutes after touchdown. But Young always kept his cool. In 2010 Slashdot remembered the first manned Gemini mission in 1965. When it reached orbit, Young surprised his fellow astronaut Gus Grissom by pulling a fresh corned beef sandwich out of his pocket.

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes:
Andrew Chaikin, author of "A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts", remembers that Young "used to talk about how if we stay on this planet for too long, something's going to get us, whether it was a super volcano or whatever. He really was a true believer." NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot added that Young's career "spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier."

In 2012 -- when he was in his 80s -- Young published a memoir titled Forever Young: A Life of Adventure in Air and Space. "My life has been long, and it has been interesting. It's also been a lot of fun, and a lot of hard, challenging work. If I could do it over, I would do it over the very same way.

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John Young, Legendary Astronaut, Dies at Age 87

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    • He'll be forever Young.
      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        Much as I like "Funny" comments, it feels disrespectful to fish for the mod with this kind of cheap bait.

        Having said that, I wish someone had some funny anecdotes to share. It sounds like he had a sense of humor, but so far I haven't heard a version of the sandwich story that adequately captures the humor of it. Something like "Pigs in Space", but the "First ham sandwich in space!"

        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          Whoops. I should have checked the content as well as the grammar. It appears that it was a corned beef sandwich, not ham. At least it seems unlikely to be a religious violation.

          • Whoops. I should have checked the content as well as the grammar. It appears that it was a corned beef sandwich, not ham. At least it seems unlikely to be a religious violation.

            Unless you're Hindu.

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @03:41PM (#55881265)

    How can we honor the memory of a man like John Young? Like all men, he was governed by the laws of physics. It is a scientific fact that hearts and clocks slow down as they approach the speed of light. Dr. Hanlin's heart reached that speed at 7:35 pm last night, according to the coroner, transforming his matter into energy, into pure white light. Though he is no longer with us, he is all around us. ;)

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @04:25PM (#55881463)
    ...and then there's John Young.

    2 Gemini missions.
    2 Apollo missions.
    2 Shuttle missions.

    Gemini (manned) maiden flight.
    1st man to orbit the moon solo.
    One of the Twelve who have walked on the Moon.
    One of Three who holds the record for fastest humans have ever traveled, 39,897 kilometres per hour (24,791 mph)
    Chief Astronaut for 13 years.

    And then, the capper, the Shuttle maiden flight:
    STS-1: The first manned vehicle to be flown into orbit without previous unmanned orbital testing and the first winged manned vehicle to launch with solid rocket boosters. It was also the first winged reentry vehicle to return to a conventional runway landing.
    My favorite quote from him: "Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world, knowing they're going to light the bottom, and doesn't get a little worried, does not fully understand the situation."
    I remember Crippen talking about landing STS-1: (IIRC) "..and John greased the landing like he always does, he was more excited than I've ever seen him, he said 'Let's finish this checklist and get out of here'." -- now that's laconic.
    • I was pivelnged to work at NASA right after ALT and was in meetings with John Young. A pilot's pilot who would make a comment that went right to teh heart of whatever problem we were working on.
      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        You seem to be the guy to ask: Was he also involved in the Mercury Program? I know his first actual flight was in Gemini, but I wonder if he might have caught the tail end of Mercury, too?

        Provoked by Japanese reporting, though maybe it was bad translating. There were four generations of manned space flight (in America), but at least in translation it came off as something like "He was involved in all three."

        • No, he was not one of the original Mercury 7 [wikipedia.org], he was one of the next 9 in Astronaut Group 2 [wikipedia.org], along with Neil Armstrong, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Ed White and others.
        • You seem to be the guy to ask: Was he also involved in the Mercury Program? I know his first actual flight was in Gemini, but I wonder if he might have caught the tail end of Mercury, too?

          Provoked by Japanese reporting, though maybe it was bad translating. There were four generations of manned space flight (in America), but at least in translation it came off as something like "He was involved in all three."

          He was named an astronaut just as Mercury wound down and made the first manned Gemini flight with Gus Grissom.

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        I remember his comment after watching a failed Gemini ejection seat test..

        "That's a hell of a headache, but a short one.'

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, remembers that Young 'used to talk about how if we stay on this planet for too long, something's going to get us, whether it was a super volcano or whatever. He really was a true believer.'

    RIP John Young, space nutter.

  • https://twitter.com/DrRiley_Wr... [twitter.com]

    That’s valuable zero gravity space research for the future of mankind, right there.

  • I was on the ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @06:49PM (#55881983)

    ... aircraft carrier (USS Wasp 1965-1968) that picked up the Gemini shots.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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