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NASA’s ‘most experienced astronaut’ John Young dies

NASA’s ‘most experienced astronaut’ John Young dies
John Young. Pic: NASA

Washington: America’s ‘most experienced astronaut’, John Young has passed away, NASA said on Saturday. Young had led the first space shuttle mission and stepped on Moon during the Apollo programme.

“Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer,” acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot had said.

The 87-year-old astronaut had died of complications in pneumonia on Friday night, Xinhua quoted the US space agency as saying.

He had made his first flight as an astronaut in 1965 with Gus Grissom on Gemini 3, the first manned flight of the early NASA human spaceflight programme.

Young is also the only US astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes and the first to fly into space six times, said NASA.

He had commanded STS-1, the first space shuttle mission in 1981, which some have called “the boldest test flight in history.”

He retired from NASA in 2004. NASA had in their official Twitter handle announced Young’s demise and shared some of his great achievements.

With IANS inputs