John Watts Young

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John Watts Young; (September 24th 1930 - January 5th 2018) American astronaut, naval officer and aviator, test pilot, helicopter pilot, fighter pilot and aeronautical engineer, who became the ninth person to walk on the Moon as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission. Young had the longest career of any astronaut, becoming the first person to make six space flights over the course of 42 years of active NASA service, and is the only astronaut to have piloted, and been commander of, four classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.
In January 1954, after earning his aviator wings, Young became a US Navy helicopter pilot, and later assigned to Fighter Squadron 103 (VF-103) for four years, flying F-9 Cougar fighter jets off of the USS Coral Sea, and F-8 Crusaders from the USS Forrestal.
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Young went on to become a Test Pilot at the US Naval Air Test Center - Patuxent River, Maryland, for three years, during which his projects included evaluations of the XF8U-3 Crusader III and F-4 Phantom II fighter weapons systems.  
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April 3rd, 1962 Lieutenant Commander Young jumped into a super clean F4H-1 Phantom II as part of "Project High Jump", and zoom climbed to an altitude of 82,000 feet in only 230.44 seconds, establishing a world time-to-climb record. Unfortunately for John, only two days later, Neil Armstrong flew the X-15 at a speed of 2,830 miles per hour,  reaching an altitude of 179,000 feet.
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On March 23rd, 1965;  Young flew with Gus Grissom on Gemini 3, and became the very first person to smuggle food on board a spacecraft.  John had secretly brought a corned beef sandwich from his favorite local deli, back to Cape Canaveral, and quietly stuffed it in a pocket of his space suit.  
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NASA was not at all amused when they found out, as the sandwich could have endangered the lives of the astronauts, and the entire orbital mission.  The crumbs released as the crew took a few bites, could have wreaked absolute havoc with the spacecraft's electronics.  Grissom and Young were strongly reprimanded when they returned to Earth, along with NASA issuing a warning to all other crews never to pull the same type of stunt.
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Gus wasn't bothered at all with the surprise, saying later, "After the flight our superiors at NASA let us know in no uncertain terms that non-man-rated corned beef sandwiches were out for future space missions. But John's deadpan offer of this strictly non-regulation goodie remains one of the highlights of our flight for me."
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In 1969, Young became the first person to orbit the Moon alone during his command of Apollo 10, and on March 3rd, 1971, Young was assigned as commander of Apollo 16, along with astronauts Duke and Mattingly, becoming one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice.
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Astronaut Young went on to command not one, but two Space Shuttle missions, including the Shuttle program's 1981 maiden orbital flight, STS-1, and STS-9 in 1983.  Once his last spaceflight was complete, John continued to serve as Chief of the Astronaut Office until 1987, finally retiring from NASA in 2004 after an incredible 42 years of service to the Space Administration.
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By the time Commander Young had taken his wings off, he had logged more than 15,275 hours flying time in props, jets, helicopters, and rockets; with more than 9,200 hours in T-38s; and 835 hours in multiple spacecraft during his six separate space flights.
Young was quite proud of Apollo 10's record for the highest speed attained by any manned vehicle at 24,791 mph during its return to Earth on May 26, 1969, however, Commander Young was most proud of setting the lunar land speed record while driving the Lunar Roving Vehicle on Apollo 16 at over 10.5 miles per hour. Due to the extreme delicate structure of the Lunar Roving Vehicle, Apollo crews were cautioned to drive the LRV with great caution. Speed limits were placed on the 1 horsepower vehicle at an absolute maximum of 8 mph...which is why John was particularly proud of his 10.5 miles per hour record.  
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Apollo 16 Charlie Duke said the following of John Young regarding their Moon mission they flew together
“I found out from the flight surgeon later on that my heartbeat was 144 at liftoff, John’s heartbeat was 70.”
"My heart rate wasn’t as high as his, because I’m so dang old and it just wouldn’t go any faster."
- Commander John Young
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