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Sunday, 07 January 2018 - 9:13
US astronaut and pioneer, dies aged 87
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US astronaut John Young, who flew to the moon twice and commanded the first ever space shuttle mission, has died aged 87, Nasa said.

"Today, Nasa and the world have lost a pioneer," agency chief Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.

Young was the only person to have flown missions on the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes.

He also once famously smuggled a corned beef sandwich on to a space flight as a gift for a fellow astronaut.

Young retired in 2004 after a 42-year career. Nasa said he died on Friday following complications from pneumonia.



John Young, right, commanded the first shuttle mission in 1981, pictured here with crew member Robert Crippen

US Astronauts Robert Crippen (L) and John Young (R) in the flight deck of the space shuttle Columbia before the first shuttle flight at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 12, 1981

Young, centre, took part in the Apollo 10 mission
Crew of Apollo 10 (L-R) Eugene Cernan, John Young and Thomas Stafford, at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 13 May 1969

John Young was described by Nasa as its most experienced astronaut
US astronaut John Young in 2009

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