Legendary US astronaut John Young dies at 87

 
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HOUSTON, Jan 07 (TNS): John Young, a legendary US astronaut who went into space six times, orbited the moon and then walked on its craggy surface, has died, NASA announced Saturday.

He was 87 and died late Friday of complications from pneumonia, the space agency said. He lived in a Houston suburb just minutes from the NASA Space Center.

“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.”

Young was a man of many firsts: the only astronaut to fly in the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs; the first to command a shuttle flight; and the first to fly into space six times.

He once held the world record for total time spent in space, NASA said.