Young died on the 5th of January due to “complications of pneumonia”, as reported by the u.s. space agency. “NASA and the world have lost a pioneer. The career of the astronaut John Young addressed three generations of space flight, “said the acting director of NASA Robert Lightfoot. He recalled that Young had “an uncanny ability to get to the heart of a technical problem in posing the question perfect, followed by your phrase iconic, ‘Just wondering…'”.
Young, born in San Francisco (California), was two times to the Moon, walked on its surface and formed part of the first mission of the space shuttle. American astronauts lamented the death of the Young, among them Scott Kelly, who considered him “a true legend”. “You were one of my heroes as an astronaut and explorer, we will miss your passion for the space,” said for his part the exastronauta Terry Virts.
Six trips into space and a sandwich
Young –aerospace engineer, aviator and ex-officer naval, who retired from NASA in 2004– was in charge of the mission Apollo 16 to the Moon in 1972 , and nine years later was inaugurated the space shuttle program. Lightfoot said that the career of the Young included the dream of the pilot test of two “first flights” in a new spacecraft, with commander Gus Grissom in Gemini 3 in 1965, and as commander of STS-1, the first space shuttle mission, which some have called the test flight most audacious in history.
During his long career of an astronaut, of over 42 years, he made six space flights and was consolidated as the only one to have flown and been commander of four classes of ships. But it was also the first astronaut who received a formal reprimand from NASA for his actions during a flight. The reason is that it was smuggled a sandwich of corned beef (canned meat) in that mission, Gemini 3. After that the agency to devote months to develop food specific to bring to the space, which among other things does not produce crumbs that could get under the panels of the capsules and cause a short circuit, Young decided to take a sandwich to see what I knew and smelled in the space.
The case reached Congress, where some representatives, it was in face of the then NASA administrator George Mueller. To which he replied: “We have taken measures to prevent their re-occurrence sandwiches of corned beef in the future.”