Astronaut John Young dies at age of 87

John W. Young, one of the most accomplished astronauts in US history, passed away today at the age of 87. He flew two Gemini missions, two Apollo missions including a landing on the Moon as commander of Apollo 16, and two Shuttle missions, including as commander of the program’s first flight on Shuttle Columbia.

From Lightfoot’s statement:

“Between his service in the U.S. Navy, where he retired at the rank of captain, and his later work as a civilian at NASA, John spent his entire life in service to our country.  His career included the test pilot’s dream of two ‘first flights’ in a new spacecraft — with Gus Grissom on Gemini 3, and as Commander of STS-1, the first space shuttle mission, which some have called ‘the boldest test flight in history.’ He flew as Commander on Gemini 10, the first mission to rendezvous with two separate spacecraft the course of a single flight. He orbited the Moon in Apollo 10, and landed there as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission. On STS-9, his final spaceflight, and in an iconic display of test pilot ‘cool,’ he landed the space shuttle with a fire in the back end. 

John Young during the Gemini 3 mission, March 23, 1965. Credits: NASA

A NASA documentary on Apollo 16:

And a documentary about STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission: