Washington: Legendary astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon and flew the first space shuttle mission, has died. According to the US space agency NASA, Young died Friday night following complications from pneumonia at the age of 87.
In a statement, NASA tweeted: “We’re saddened by the loss of astronaut John Young, who was 87. Young flew twice to the Moon, walked on its surface & flew the first Space Shuttle mission. He went to space six times in the Gemini, Apollo & Space Shuttle programs.”
Young’s career at NASA stretched for 42 years, during which he became the first human to fly in space six times. In 1965, Young flew on the first manned Gemini mission and commanded another the next year. In 1969, he became the first person to orbit the Moon alone for Apollo 10.
Young, also drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon’s surface during Apollo 16, and is one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice. He also commanded two Space Shuttle flights, including its first launch in 1981, and served as the Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1974–1987. Young retired from NASA in 2004.