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Tuesday January 9th, 2018

American Hero Astronaut John Young Passes Away

International Space Hall of Fame Inductee was 87

(Alamogordo, New Mexico, January 6, 2018) – The only man to fly on Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions has passed away at 87 from complications of pnuemonia. John W. Young is being hailed by fellow astronauts as the “astronauts’ astronaut” and former President George H.W. Bush called him “a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our Nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time.”

IMAGE: Jumping on the moon and saluting the American flag, Astronaut John Young became one of the few people who have walked on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. (Photo NASA)

Jumping on the moon and saluting the American flag, Astronaut John Young became one of the few people who have walked on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. (Photo NASA)

The New Mexico Museum of Space History and International Space Hall of Fame extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of John Young, a true American hero.

Born in San Francisco, CA, on September 24, 1930, Young first entered space as Pilot on Gemini III with Gus Grissom as Command Pilot. This was the first time the U.S. sent two men into space. Next, in 1966, he was Command Pilot on Gemini X with Michael Collins as Pilot. In 1969, he was Command Module Pilot for Apollo 10 along with Mission Commander Tom Stafford and Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan. The mission was a “dress rehearsal” for Apollo 11.

As Mission Commander for Apollo 16, Young joined the prestigious ranks of the very few men who have walked on the surface of the moon. With Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, Young explored the moon’s Descartes Highlands from April 20-23, 1972.

Young made history with his fifth mission as Spacecraft Commander of STS-1 in 1981, the inaugural mission of the first Space Shuttle, Columbia. Young became the first person to fly four different types of spacecraft. His last mission was as Spacecraft Commander of STS-9 Columbia in 1983.

John Young was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1982. Young's honors include the Congressional Space Medal of Honor (for commanding STS-1), four NASA Distinguished Service Medals, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. In addition, Young was a decorated Navy pilot.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum/

IMAGE: A technician attaches hose from test stand to spacesuit of astronaut John W. Young, Apollo 10 command module pilot, during final suiting operations for the Apollo 10 lunar orbit mission. (Photo NASA)