back to article RIP John Young: NASA's longest-serving 'naut explores final frontier

John Young, the first pilot of a space shuttle, and longest serving astronaut in NASA's history, has died at the age of 87 due to complications caused by pneumonia. Announcing his death on 6 January, NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said: "NASA and the world have lost a pioneer. Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned …

  1. Mark 85

    I daresay he was/is a hero and role model for space exploration. I'll raise a toast to him while having a corned beef sandwich tonight.

    Pity that Space-X can't slip a corned beef sandwich into the glovebox of Elon's roadster. It seems like it would be appropriate.

  2. Bubba Von Braun

    I wouldnt be surprised

    I am sure Elon will slip a corned beef on rye sandwich into the roadster, after-all the Dragon had its block of cheese.

    John Young was one of the best, God speed and thank you for your brave endeavors you inspired many.

    Bubba Von Braun

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Hamba Kahle Young.

  4. defiler

    Easy to forget

    It's easy to forget, when we watch unmanned rockets up and away and landing by themselves, that there were some people who sat on the ends of these things before they were proven.

    1. MrKrotos

      Re: Easy to forget

      Its VERY easy to forget, I wish I had a 10th of what this man had. A true legend and pioneer!

  5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Can we please have a portrait photo of him to go with the story?

    I believe he was probably the coolest-under-pressure astronauts there has been. And that's saying a lot, in that group!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    STS-1 was the 'boldest test flight in history'. Never before had anyone flown in something so complex, so far and so fast. Minor point of order : 'the first pilot of a space shuttle' : I'm kinda letting you off the pendant hook cos of the lower case 'p' in pilot. Young was the 'Commander', Crippen the 'Pilot'. And of course, Fred Haise, Fullerton, Engle and Truly had flown the Enterprise in free flight too. I'm having a corned beef sandwich for lunch today.

  7. cray74

    5 space vehicles, 6 flights, 7 launches, and a space smuggler...

    A summary of John Young's career:

    1) Operated the largest number of vehicle classes in space:

    --Gemini capsule (Gemini 3, 10)

    --Apollo capsule (Apollo 10, 16)

    --Apollo lander (Apollo 10, 16)

    --Apollo rover (Apollo 16)

    --Shuttle (STS-1, STS-9)

    2) First human to make six space flights (2 Gemini, 2 Apollo, 2 shuttle)

    3) First human to make seven launches into space (Apollo 16 featured launches from the Earth and moon)

    4) Longest astronaut career

    5) Possibly the first space smuggler

    His Naval aviation career also garnered recognition at high levels. ("I got a telegram from the Chief of Naval Operations asking me not to do this anymore." — Young, describing an air-to-air missile test in which he and another pilot approached each other at Mach 3, risking destruction of both aircraft.)

    1. Allan George Dyer

      Re: 5 space vehicles, 6 flights, 7 launches, and a space smuggler...

      Can you count the Apollo rover in the "Operated vehicle class in space" category if you count the Apollo moon launch in the "launches into space" category?

      Pedant icon, obviously.

      Anyway, an inspiring career, and a great man.

  8. John Crisp

    The right stuff

    A man who had bags of it.

    Thanks for turning dreams into reality.

  9. MrKrotos

    Wow, what a man!

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Just one small bite for man...

    A corned beef sandwich, embedded in acrylic, is exhibited at the Grissom Memorial Museum in Mitchell, Ind., to "memorialize the infamous sandwich" on Gemini 3.

  11. MrReal

    And NASA's lies continue...

    Amazing people still believe we went to the moon in 1969.

    Wondering nothing at NASA immediately throwing away the SaturnV and re-designing it completely as the shuttle, a less reliable and less powerful lifting solution (without even the dual use of the superior Energia+Buran).

    Then today NASA can't even get into orbit, let alone crossing the lethal Van Allen barrier.

    We're supposed to believe John Young drove the Lunar Rover around the moon when clearly the lack of bounce, solid grip and need for a winch to launch it shows it was a 1/2 speed film of some sand driving.

    This while the US was busy losing their Vietnam war of aggression and desperately needing some good news - and as if by magive we get some grainy 2nd gen video of an actor stepping down in a dimly lit studio that made the moon look smaller than the average back garden.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like