Thursday, September 23, 2021

The 9th astronaut to walk on the moon dies

Miami, Jan 6 (EFE).- The death of astronaut John Young, the ninth man to walk on the moon and who traveled into space six times as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle missions, was reported by NASA this Saturday. He was 87.

Fotografía del 2 de noviembre de 2011 de las tripulaciones de la primera (STS-1) y última misión de la NASA (STS-135) posando en el Johnson Space Center de Houston, Texas. (De izquierda a derecha) el piloto de la STS-135, Doug Hurley, el comandante John Young (STS-1), Robert Crippen, piloto de la STS-1, y los miembros de la misión STS-135 Chris Ferguson, comandante, y los especialistas Sandy Magnus y Rex Walheim. A modo de recuerdo histórico, los antiguos astronautas de las naves con las que durante tres décadas la NASA realizó vuelos tripulados y de carga al espacio, dejaron a bordo de la Estación Espacial Internacional (EEI) la bandera que Young y Crippen llevaron en aquel primer vuelo. El 12 de abril de 1981 el Columbia, el primero de la flota de cinco transbordadores que tuvo la NASA, realizó la misión STS-1, que regresó a la Tierra dos días después, tras haber dado 36 vueltas alrededor del planeta. EFE

“We’re saddened by the loss of astronaut John Young,” the US space agency said in a statement, without mentioning where or why he passed away.

NASA recalled that Young, who was born in San Francisco, flew twice to the moon, walked on its surface and commanded the first space shuttle mission.

Other US astronauts mourned Young’s death, including Scott Kelly who called him “a true legend.”

“Rest In Peace John Young. You were one of my heroes as an astronaut and explorer and your passion for space will be missed,” said for his part former astronaut Terry W. Virts.

Young, an aerospace engineer, pilot and former naval officer, commanded the Apollo 16 mission to the moon in 1972 and nine years later inaugurated the space shuttle program.

He had a long career as an astronaut – more than 42 years – during which he made six space voyages and was the only astronaut to have been pilot and commander on four different classes of spaceships.

The Californian retired from NASA in 2004.