Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. RIP John Young

 

John Young, one of NASA’s most remarkable astronauts, died Friday, January 5.

Young was the only man to fly on four different spacecraft (Gemini, Apollo, Lunar Module, and Shuttle) and the first NASA astronaut to fly in space six times. He flew on the first Gemini mission, landed on the Moon, commanded the first Shuttle mission, and the first Shuttle Spacelab mission.

I remember him from my early days in the Shuttle program. Hard to believe he is gone. But he got his three-score years and ten with an extra 17 on top of that. Certainly a life well-lived.

There are 22 comments.

  1. Profile Photo Member

    An incredible pilot. They said he didn’t get in a plane – he wore it.

    RIP

    • #1
    • January 6, 2018, at 7:22 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    These boys are leaving us…rapidly.

    I love these two clips. The awe inspiring first steps are a few missions later transformed into a couple of all-American things…Navy/Air Force trash talking over salutes and John Young doing donuts on the lunar surface. Godspeed John Young, and God Bless America.

    • #2
    • January 6, 2018, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Richard Easton Member

    It’s sobering how quickly we’re losing the early astronauts. I’ve met five moonwalkers, two of whom are now gone:

    Bean 12

    Mitchell 14 deceased

    Duke 16

    Cernan 17 deceased

    Schmitt 17

    • #3
    • January 6, 2018, at 8:29 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Locke On Member

    We’ve now lost over half those who made it to the moon. Hopefully we can get back there before they all leave us.

    • #4
    • January 6, 2018, at 8:49 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. Kozak Member

    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11. Went to the ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 crew in Chicago where over 1 million were downtown to greet them. I collected all the autographs of the moon walkers as an adult. They are passing quickly now. I wonder if we will soon live in a world where no one has walked on another body…

    • #5
    • January 7, 2018, at 6:08 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  6. aardo vozz Member

    Despite the technological advancements, it is depressing to realize that regarding manned space flight, we have spent the last three decades(or more) doing nothing more than glorified Gemini missions, with our astronauts in low Earth orbit.

    • #6
    • January 7, 2018, at 9:47 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  7. Trink Coolidge

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11. Went to the ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 crew in Chicago where over 1 million were downtown to greet them. I collected all the autographs of the moon walkers as an adult. . .

    I wonder if we will soon live in a world where no one has walked on another body…

    That is so cool! All their autographs.

    Did you get to meet Neil Armstrong?

    I hope to live long enough to see SpaceX get Americans to at least be able to orbit the moon again.

    • #7
    • January 7, 2018, at 6:54 PM PST
    • Like
  8. SkipSul Moderator

    When we were in Florida over Christmas, we visited the Space Center. We had last visited in 2011, and at that time it felt like a ghost town, and a memorial to glories long past and done. Such was the work of the Obama years. The privateers (SpaceX and others) hadn’t yet really gotten going, the Orion program seemed a half-hearted dead end – dead for lack of budget, interest, or optimism. I visited the Houston space center in 2013, and it too felt deserted.

    What a difference 2 weeks ago. The place was humming! You could sense it from all the guides, tour bus drivers, and employees. There is this palpable confidence there that we’ll be back to the moon, and quite soon, and then further beyond. Everywhere you could see information on the new programs, the new launch systems, the new missions being planned out. Outside the VAB, they were about 99% complete on the new launch tower for the new moon rocket. The Falcon Heavy was being readied at pad 39A for live testing. We’re finally going to go outwards again.

    Rocket Garden at sunset.
    • #8
    • January 7, 2018, at 7:33 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  9. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11.

    But did you have Major Matt Mason, Mattel’s Man in Space?

    • #9
    • January 7, 2018, at 7:52 PM PST
    • Like
  10. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    There are only 5 Apollo astronauts left.

    There should be an effort to get back before they’re all gone.

    In my wildest dreams – There is a “Kennedy Lunar X-prize” – A prize is of say $10 Billion dollars is set aside for the first privately financed team (no government involvement) who can land men on the moon, and return them safely to the earth…

    Prizes could be awarded on a milestone basis – best design/prototype of a space suit, best design/prototype of surface habitat module, etc. Teams from around the world can participate, so long as other governments contribute to the prize pool.

    All prizes expire on a deadline – 8 years – after all thats how long it took the first time. IF redoing a challenge is less challenging than the original doing, then it should be done quicker.

    • #10
    • January 7, 2018, at 8:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Richard Easton Member

    Trink (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11. Went to the ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 crew in Chicago where over 1 million were downtown to greet them. I collected all the autographs of the moon walkers as an adult. . .

    I wonder if we will soon live in a world where no one has walked on another body…

    That is so cool! All their autographs.

    Did you get to meet Neil Armstrong?

    I hope to live long enough to see SpaceX get Americans to at least be able to orbit the moon again.

    I knew slightly Bill Mellberg who was an editor for Jack Schmitt’s website (Apollo 17). The second time I met him in person we were on Milt Rosenberg’s Show. After it, Bill told us about the contacts he had through JS. He’d exchanged emails with Armstrong and had hoped to meet him at the Apollo 17 40th anniversary celebration at the Adler. Alas, Armstrong died a couple of months prior to it. Now Bill’s gone too. But the space program is having a rebirth.

    • #11
    • January 7, 2018, at 8:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Mim526 Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):
    These boys are leaving us…rapidly.

    I love these two clips. The awe inspiring first steps are a few missions later transformed into a couple of all-American things…Navy/Air Force trash talking over salutes and John Young doing donuts on the lunar surface. Godspeed John Young, and God Bless America.

    In the past, “Proud to be an American” (first clip @1:35 mark) and space program went hand in glove.

    Thanks for the history reminders @9thdistrictneighbor and @Seawriter.

    • #12
    • January 7, 2018, at 10:35 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Profile Photo Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11.

    But did you have Major Matt Mason, Mattel’s Man in Space?

    No, but I had the GI Joe Astronaut and Mercury spacecraft!

    • #13
    • January 8, 2018, at 2:27 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. OldPhil Coolidge

    John Young was quite a character. He smuggled a corned beef sandwich on Gemini 3.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/astronaut-john-young-brought-a-corn-beef-sandwich-into-space-2012-8

    • #14
    • January 8, 2018, at 7:04 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    mesulkanen (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11.

    But did you have Major Matt Mason, Mattel’s Man in Space?

    No, but I had the GI Joe Astronaut and Mercury spacecraft!

    Of course, we had that too. That was awesome…the Mercury capsule was nearly life size. My brother even kept the original box.

    This may seem like quaint nostalgia, but the space program was filled with tremendously smart and brave people, and that’s worth remembering.

    • #15
    • January 8, 2018, at 7:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Seawriter:John Young, one of NASA’s most remarkable astronauts, died Friday, January 5.

    Young was the only man to fly on four different spacecraft (Gemini, Apollo, Lunar Module, and Shuttle) and the first NASA astronaut to fly in space six times. He flew on the first Gemini mission, landed on the Moon, commanded the first Shuttle mission, and the first Shuttle Spacelab mission.

    Yeah, but what did he do to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to STEM?

    • #16
    • January 8, 2018, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):
    Yeah, but what did he do to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to STEM?

    Made sure Sultan bin Salman Al Saud got back safely from his Shuttle mission.

    Seawriter

    • #17
    • January 8, 2018, at 10:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Richard Easton Member

    I hope that people won’t mind my reposting a picture which connects the manned and unmanned space programs. Here’s my Dad, third from left, briefing Navy astronauts about GPS in 1975. L-R Cernan, Mattingly, Dad, Evans, Crippen and Kerwin.

    • #18
    • January 8, 2018, at 10:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Profile Photo Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    mesulkanen (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11.

    But did you have Major Matt Mason, Mattel’s Man in Space?

    No, but I had the GI Joe Astronaut and Mercury spacecraft!

    Of course, we had that too. That was awesome…the Mercury capsule was nearly life size. My brother even kept the original box.

    This may seem like quaint nostalgia, but the space program was filled with tremendously smart and brave people, and that’s worth remembering.

    I remember the ads showing it floating in water. Mine must have been a replica of Liberty Bell 7 – it sank.

    • #19
    • January 8, 2018, at 12:06 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Profile Photo Member

    mesulkanen (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    mesulkanen (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    I was obsessed with the Apollo program. I still have my childhood scrapbook with newspaper clippings and the Life issue on Apollo 11.

    But did you have Major Matt Mason, Mattel’s Man in Space?

    No, but I had the GI Joe Astronaut and Mercury spacecraft!

    Of course, we had that too. That was awesome…the Mercury capsule was nearly life size. My brother even kept the original box.

    This may seem like quaint nostalgia, but the space program was filled with tremendously smart and brave people, and that’s worth remembering.

    I remember the ads show it floating in water. Mine must have been a replica of Liberty Bell 7 – it sank.

    My father woke me up to watch John Glenn liftoff. I got a Steve Canyon helmet for my birthday and sat upside down in our big stuffed chair and played John Glenn.

    • #20
    • January 8, 2018, at 12:08 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Joseph Stanko Member

    mesulkanen (View Comment):
    My father woke me up to watch John Glenn liftoff. I got a Steve Canyon helmet for my birthday and sat upside down in our big stuffed chair and played John Glenn.

    I missed the glory days of Mercury through Apollo, having been born in ’76. My most vivid memory of the space program, sadly, is of learning of the Challenger disaster.

    I hope one day in my lifetime that memory will be eclipsed by something more positive, like watching a Mars landing. Even seeing a man walk on the moon live, rather than just in old archival footage, would be pretty darn inspiring.

    • #21
    • January 8, 2018, at 8:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    I missed the glory days of Mercury through Apollo, having been born in ’76. My most vivid memory of the space program, sadly, is of learning of the Challenger disaster.

    I hope one day in my lifetime that memory will be eclipsed by something more positive, like watching a Mars landing. Even seeing a man walk on the moon live, rather than just in old archival footage, would be pretty darn inspiring.

    I lived through all of it. I remember sitting on the floor in a big circle with the rest of my classmates in Kindergarten listening to Alan Shepard’s flight over the school PA, and sitting in our chairs in first grade as John Glenn’s entire flight was broadcast via the PA.

    Met Glenn at a cub scout pack meeting. (He probably came as a favor to Professor Harm Buning, whose son was in the pack. (I grew up in Ann Arbor, and Buning was an aerospace engineering professor at University of Michigan.)

    I remember Ed White’s spacewalk on GT-4 (both astronauts were University of Michigan grads), and the Gemini launch where the rockets started and then shut down, wondering if the astronauts were going to use their ejection seats. (They did not and launched two days later.

    Apollo 11 launched on my 14th birthday, and I watched the first moon landing on a fuzzy portable B&W at a church picnic.

    Grew up wanting to be an astronaut, but after my eyes got bad enough to need glasses I changed that to becoming a space navigator, because aircraft navigators could have glasses, and by the time I was an adult spacecraft would need navigators. (Careful what you wish for.)

    Spent most of the 1970s trying to get away from aerospace due to the post-Apollo aerospace bust. Got a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Then I got back in the space program almost accidentally, when an interview for a JSC contractor I did as a lark yielded the best job office I had.

    Spend much of the rest of my career working at JSC on the Shuttle program. Watched the first launch. Became a real-time Shuttle navigator supporting flights from STS-4 to 61-C. (Worse luck, the navigators we left on the ground. But I did work in Mission Control.) Watched Challenger (the first mission I did not support, since I left real-time nav on the previous mission – thank God for that.) Helped design Space Station Freedom (best named NASA spacecraft ever, because “Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose”). Left the space program after Freedom was cancelled. Came back after 9-11 (because that was the only job I could find) to do Shuttle rendezvous nav, and stayed until the program ended.

    It was one hell of a ride.

    Seawiter

    • #22
    • January 9, 2018, at 6:40 AM PST
    • 7 likes