Young went into space six times in his career. Photograph:( Reuters )
John Young, the American astronaut who led the first space shuttle mission, died of pneumonia.
Young went into space six times in his career. He also had the fortune to orbit and walk on the moon during the Apollo programme.
"NASA and the world have lost a pioneer," agency administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. "We will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier."
John Young died at the age of 87 and was a man to have scaled unimaginable heights in his career.
Here's a look at his star-studded list of accomplishments:
- Young was the only astronaut to fly in the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs.
- He was the first to command a shuttle flight. People often called the mission "the boldest test flight in history."
- John Young was also the only astronaut with the maximum number of visits in space.
- He once held the world record for total time spent in space, NASA said.
- He commanded Gemini 10, the first mission to rendezvous with two other spacecraft during a single flight.
- Young orbited the moon in Apollo 10 and made a lunar landing with Apollo 16.
- NASA described Young as the "astronaut's astronaut," "a savvy engineer" and a "test pilot's test pilot."
- Young also had a stint with the navy wherein he set world records for the fastest ascension from a standing start in an F-4 Phantom II jet.
"Everyone else gets into an airplane; John and Hoot wear their airplane. They're just awesome," astronaut Charles Bolden.
(With inputs from agencies)