Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

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"He went to space six times in the Gemini, Apollo & Space Shuttle programs", NASA tweeted. He lived in a Houston suburb just minutes from the NASA Space Center.

He eventually became one of the most accomplished astronauts in the history of the USA space programme. "NASA and the world have lost a pioneer", agency administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. "If you look at the inevitable consequences and you look at our technologies that we need to make it, you'd come to the same conclusion, and you know, it's doesn't take a lot of thinking, but somebody ought to be anxious about it". He once held the world record for total time spent in space, NASA said. He was best known as the commander of the first Space Shuttle mission, taking Columbia into orbit in 1981. On his record-setting sixth and last spaceflight, when he flew the first Spacelab module into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle, he both avoided a mid-flight disaster and landed while an auxiliary power unit was on fire.

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies
Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon twice, dies

We mourn the passing of astronaut John Young, who began his career with us in 1962, when he was selected from hundreds of young pilots for our second astronaut class. "He was in every way the 'astronaut's astronaut.' We will miss him", NASA said. He also advised on engineering, operations and safety matters.

Once, during an air-to-air missile test, Young and another pilot approached each other's aircraft at a potentially calamitous speed of Mach 3 (2,300 miles per hour, or 3,700 kilometers per hour), according to Young's website. "No, I figured we'd be up there forever, and we'd keep right on going and set up bases on the moon and use it for all the benefits that we could get from it, which is plenty of them", Young said. "Everyone else gets into an airplane; John and Hoot wear their airplane".

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