- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2018

John Young, a retired astronaut and one of only a handful of humans to walk on the moon, has passed away at the age of 87 following complications from pneumonia, NASA said Saturday.

“Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer,” NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. “Astronaut John Young’s storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier.”

“He was a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our Nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time,” former President George H.W. Bush said in a statement Saturday. “May his memory serve to inspire future generations of explorers to dare greatly, act boldly and serve selflessly.”

Young, a former Navy test pilot, was selected to become a NASA astronaut in 1962. He was a co-pilot on the first Gemini mission in 1965, and he commanded the space shuttle Columbia during its maiden flight in 1981.

Young retired from NASA in 2004, capping off a 42-year career that included logging six space flights and becoming the ninth of only twelve people to walk on the moon, among other feats.

“The legacy he leaves behind exemplifies a commitment to space exploration for humanity in its truest form. His dedication thrives on his belief in the space program,” NASA said in a statement when he retired.

Young is survived by his wife, Susy, two children and three grandchildren, SPACE.com reported.

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