Astronaut John Young, who grew up in Orlando, dies at 87
Young died following complications from pneumonia, officials say
ORLANDO, Fla. – Astronaut John Young, whose name is honored throughout areas of Orlando, died Friday night at 87, according to NASA.
The space agency said Young died following complications from pneumonia.
NASA said Young was the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs, and the first to fly into space six times. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon.
The astronaut, who was born in San Francisco and moved to Orlando when he was only 18 months old, had flight experience that spanned five decades, according to Orange County Public Schools officials.
Young was perhaps "the most well-traveled Orange County Public Schools alumnus of all time," according to OCPS' website.
He attended Princeton Elementary School and graduated from Orlando High School, now known as
Howard Middle School, in 1948.
His name can be seen outside his childhood home in College Park and by Central Floridians traveling State Road 423, which is named John Young Parkway in his honor, the website said. An elementary school in Orange County is also named after Young.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the impact Young had on the city in a tweet posted Saturday afternoon.
As he was inspiring our country to dream big, John Young was also representing our city. Orlando will never forget our American hero. https://t.co/qRWk2vugLR— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) January 6, 2018
NASA officials also offered their condolences on Twitter:
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. pic.twitter.com/l4nSwUCMIq— NASA (@NASA) January 6, 2018
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. Spanning three generations of spaceflight, he went on to fly in space six times. More: https://t.co/R5eY8MIaG9 pic.twitter.com/pkOFt6zzpL— NASA (@NASA) January 6, 2018
"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer. 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," acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. "John was one of that group of early space pioneers whose bravery and commitment sparked our nation's first great achievements in space. But, not content with that, his hands-on contributions continued long after the last of his six spaceflights -- a world record at the time of his retirement from the cockpit."
Click here to read the rest of Lightfoot's statement.
Young died at home in Houston.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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